Fear grips Kerala’s Palakkad as killer tusker goes on prowl

People of the Dhoni area in Kerala’s Palakkad district are spending sleepless nights after the killer elephant code named ‘PT-7’ has been frequenting human habitations and damaging crops and homes.

While the state government has taken a decision to tranquilize the animal and to house it at the Muthanga elephant sanctuary in Wayanad district of Kerala, the disturbances created by the elephant are not waning in the area.

Muthukumar, (49), a labourer in Dhoni, Palakkad while speaking to IANS said, “Yesterday when I was returning home from my work, the elephant was present on the road side. I had to run for cover and then immediately informed the forest department. Forest officers came and lit crackers and tried to scare the elephant away, but it was advancing towards them.”

The presence of the PT-7 elephant has been giving sleepless nights to the people of Dhoni as the elephant has been responsible for killing a morning walker, Sivaraman (65) a few months ago.

The forest department officials were also ill-equipped to counter the advances of the elephant officials. They have only a few firecrackers and the elephant was not retracting even after the crackers were bursted.

An officer with the forest flying squad, which rushes to the areas where the elephant frequents in Dhoni while speaking to IANS said, “We are also humans, and once while we were bursting firecrackers and tried to scare the elephant away, it was advancing towards us and beyond a point, we ran to our safety.”

The forest officials also complained that in addition to the firecrackers, they have only torchlights to locate the elephant. Another issue plaguing the forest department officials is the possibility of other animals like wild boars entering the area and destroying crops and other farm produce.




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