It entered the thickly-populated IOB Colony, peeping into households and knocking at gates, creating panic among residents

A wild elephant that strayed into human habitations, near Marudhamalai, early this morning ran amok from Marudhamalai bus stand and entered the IOB Colony, creating panic among the residents.

Local residents saw the male adult tusker walking along the main road and mistook it for a domesticated one.

Only when it charged towards onlookers, they realised it was a wild elephant. After remaining at the bus stand for a while, it entered the thickly-populated IOB Colony peeping into households and knocking at gates.

As the news spread, curious onlookers gathered in strength and tried to chase the tusker away, which further infuriated it.

Forest officials led by Forester Raman rushed to the spot along with anti-poaching watchers, guards and initiated efforts to lead it to forests.

Some of the officials said the tusker might be in “musth” (periodic condition in bull elephants characterised by highly aggressive behaviour, accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones). Hooting and shouting by onlookers left the tusker confused and made it run amok again. After a few hours, the tusker entered the reserve forests along a path near Government Law College. Kuppusamy, Gunasekaran and Selvam all forest watchers and Aaatukkal Murugan, anti-poaching watcher, were injured while chasing the elephant back to forest. Murugan sustained a fracture. District Forest Officer V. Thirunavukkarasu has deployed additional teams in the area anticipating the tusker to enter human habitations once again. The teams have been equipped with powerful search lights, drums and crackers.