Kadar tribesman dies in elephant attack near Valparai in Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Updated - May 09, 2024 08:17 pm IST

Published - May 09, 2024 07:36 pm IST - COIMBATORE

Kadar tribesman Ravi who died in elephant attack at Nedungundram settlement in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve on Wednesday night.

Kadar tribesman Ravi who died in elephant attack at Nedungundram settlement in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve on Wednesday night. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ravi, 54, a Kadar tribesman from Nedungundram settlement in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), was trampled to death by a wild elephant late on Wednesday.

Sources close to the tribal community said Ravi was the first Kadar tribesman to have been killed by a wild elephant in Tamil Nadu side, as they are known to be living in harmony with wild animals, especially elephants, and communicate with them with traditional knowledge.

Ravi, along with two other tribesmen from Nedungundram Vijayan, 52, and Ramachandran, 37, went to Valparai to sell honey on Wednesday. They returned to the settlement, the only settlement in ATR with road connectivity, in autorickshaw around 9 p.m. After getting down from the autorickshaw, they had to walk for about 800 metres to reach the settlement.

While dropping, the driver warned the trio about the presence of an elephant in the settlement area. An elephant that was standing close to a jackfruit tree in the settlement charged at them while they were walking to their houses. Since it was drizzling, the trio could not see the elephant. Though they managed to escape, Ravi went out again to collect groceries that he left while escaping from the elephant.

Sources said the elephant attacked Ravi and he died on the spot. Vijayan and Ramachandran, who suffered minor injuries while escaping from the elephant, were admitted to the Government Hospital, Valparai.

Valparai forest range officer G. Venkatesh handed over an immediate relief fund of ₹50,000 to the wife of the deceased. The injured persons were given ₹5,000 each.

The Forest Department deployed 12 field staff to monitor the elephant and instructed residents of the settlement not to roam at night. The body of the deceased was handed over to the family after post-mortem on Thursday.

“Ravi was a very progressive Kadar tribesman who studied upto Class X and made many tribal youth complete their graduation. He had held various posts, including the president of Federation of Tribals of Anamalai Hills, and fought for the cause of the tribals. There is no record of a Kadar killed in an elephant attack as they are known as people who communicate with elephants. It is shocking that Ravi was trampled by an elephant in the settlement,” said tribal welfare activist S. Thanraj of Ekta Parishad, Tamil Nadu.

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