A tusker was injured when it lost balance and collapsed as the driver of the lorry in which it was being transported applied brakes on the speeding vehicle at a speed bump at Illickal in the outskirts of the town.
The tusker Soman (formerly Karthikeyan) was being taken for ‘sukhachikitsa’ by its owner Varghese Mattathil of Thottackad, according to the police. The police have arrested the mahout Jayakumar and the driver of the lorry, Sajan. Both tested positive for alcohol, police said.
While the vehicle had followed other stipulations, it had not maintained the slow speed necessary when carrying elephants. The driver had applied break on the speeding vehicle suddenly at the hump and then turned to the right to move to Karappuzha Road.
The tusker lost balance under the impact and slid to the front, breaking one of the wooden poles that had been placed behind its fore limbs. It then hit the cabin of the lorry injuring its forehead and trunk. Even as the vehicle came to a halt, the pachyderm collapsed on its forelimbs.
Later, police, Forests and Fire and Rescue Service authorities arrived on the scene, lifted the tusker with the help of a crane and moved it to a nearby spot as it could not walk.
According to Dr. Sabu P. Isaac, veterinary surgeon at Meenadom who had been treating the tusker earlier, the pachyderm was highly dehydrated. While the external injuries were found to be minor, nothing could be said about the internal injuries, he said.
The elephant had been administered more than 40 bottles of glucose in addition to other medicines. However, the animal which showed signs of recovery late in the afternoon again returned to a state of fatigue later.