Tribesman killed in elephant attack

In 2002, Karimpuzha Mathan, a middle-aged Cholanaikkan tribesman from Manjeeri hamlet in the Nilambur forest, had attended the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. Twenty years later on Wednesday, he became the victim of a vicious elephant attack in the jungle.

Mathan’s death brought a pall of gloom on a few dozen Cholanaikkan families living deep in the forests. A quiet man, Mathan had emerged as a tribal leader in recent years.

The elephant attacked Mathan and his friends between Panappuzha and Valkkettumala as they were heading towards Manjeeri colony to collect their weekly ration. Another senior tribesman Chathan had a narrow escape as the elephant charged at them. Mathan’s age became a handicap for him to escape elephant attack. He was 70.

The elephant trampled Mathan and stood beside his body for hours. The tribespeople, with the help of the forest officials, had to drive away the elephant to retrieve the body.

Mathan is survived by wife Karika.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 8:43:37 pm |