A wild elephant, popularly called Chillikomban, was found dead near a plantation of the Chenduvarai estate factory under Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company Ltd. on Tuesday.
For the past two days, the elephant had been found in the area. On Sunday night it damaged a tractor, van, and a bike near the factory. Estate workers on Monday chased away the elephant using an earth mover and allegedly threw stones at it. The elephant also uprooted some eucalyptus trees near the factory.
The elephant was seen in residential areas on the buffer zone of the forest for over a year. It got its name from its tusks that looked like tree branches. The elephant often disappeared from the area to the core forests.
In September last year it was found with injuries, presumably sustained from stones and bottles thrown by antisocial elements, near the Mattupetty dam. The animal was found weak and turned violent due to the shortage of fodder and water in the area.
On a complaint by animal rights activists, the Munnar Wildlife Warden took into custody a tractor driver from the estate.
A post-mortem examination was conducted by a veterinary surgeon. A forest official said an inquiry was ordered into the death of the elephant.
It is alleged that after it was chased away by a mob, the elephant returned to the area via another route. It was chased away again using an earth mover and a tractor.
With instances of wild elephants entering residential areas at Munnar, Marayur, Mankulam, and Anayirankal dam on the rise, two kumki (trained) elephants from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary have been stationed at Marayur to chase them back into forests.