This is the second incident of elephants going berserk in two months

Two domesticated elephants belonging to the Suttur Math here went berserk on Monday, causing some anxious moments for the public; they were later herded back to the ashram near the Chamundi Hills. Nobody was injured.

This is the second incident of elephants going berserk in two months. On the previous occasion, two wild elephants had a free run in the city, resulting in the death of man.

The elephants, Lakshmi, 12, and Maasti, 20, were taken for their daily walk around 10 a.m. from the ashram and the mahouts accompanying them stuck to their daily route. However, when an ambulance with wailing siren sped past the road, Lakshmi panicked and scampered for some distance. She displayed signs of infuriation, following which the mahout controlled it and fastened it to a tree.

Meanwhile, Appaiah, Maasti's mahout, deftly turned the elephant away from the spot and took it to the ashram. However, near Hosabandikere, close to the Mysore-Nanjangud Highway, Maasti began to display signs of irritation; but the mahout managed to goad the elephant towards the ashram. Near the JSS College, the elephant went wild and brushed past an auto rickshaw and inflicted minor damage.

By then Appaiah had lost control over the elephant, which began to vigorously rub its back to a tree in a bid to get the mahout off its back. Appaiah lunged forward and caught hold of a branch and clung to it. Maasti then scampered along the road sending the crowd into panic. Lakshmi, which was returning to the Ashram on the same route, came under attack from Maasti but managed to reach the main entrance of the ashram.

Fortunately, the elephant took a left turn that led to the Ashram close to Chamundi foothills. By then, Lakshmi was herded back to the ashram and Maasti followed suit, following which the Ashram gates were shut.

However, inside the ashram campus, Maasti could not be fastened as it was in an irritable mood. Forest Department officials, who had reached the spot, sought the assistance of Abhimanyu and Gajendra – the two Dasara elephants. The sight of Abhimanyu and Gajendra unsettled Maasti, who sprinted towards the other end of the Ashram.