A wild elephant killed a 49-year-old farmer, Ram Bhat, in Nalkur Reserve Forest in Sullia taluk Wednesday night.
Assistant Conservator of Forests Dinesh Kumar said that seven families had their farm houses on these private plots under the Devachalla Gram Panchayat in the reserve forest. These plots were close to the rivulet, which was a part of the long hilly elephant corridor between Madappady and Sampaje. A lone elephant had got separated from the herd and had entered the farm adjoining the one of Mr. Bhat on Wednesday evening.
When Mr. Bhat’s neighbour used explosives to scare the elephant away, it ran towards Mr. Bhat’s house on the farm. Usually, the seven houses kept one another informed while carrying out such a drive. On Wednesday, Mr. Bhat could not be informed as his landline telephone was not working.
Hearing the sound of explosives, Mr. Bhat came out of the house and came in the way of the running pachyderm. The elephant caught hold of him with its trunk and threw him away. He died before he could be taken to a hospital. Mr. Kumar said the elephant pulled down a few arecanut trees and some plantains on Mr. Bhat’s farm.
Mr. Kumar said the Forest Department would pay a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the family of Mr. Bhat.