Coimbatore: A wild elephant has killed four people including a teenager in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore early this morning. According to the police, the elephant entered a house in Ganesapuram where it attacked two people including a 12-year-old girl who were asleep killing them instantly. Soon after, the pachyderm targeted two women who were relieving themselves in an open field. Two others were also injured in the incident. The injured have been admitted at two private hospitals in Coimbatore.
Forest officials are working to tranquillize the elephant. Two trained Kumki elephants have also been called. Kumki elephants are trained animals, who are used mostly to tame and train wild elephants and also to lead away wild elephants that stray into human settlements.
Dismissing that drought conditions could have driven the elephant out of the forest, district forest officer Rama Subramaniam said, "We had good rains in the area last week so this can't be drought induced. We believe the elephant has gone astray."
Two days ago, two anti-poaching watchers, who attempted to drive away a wild elephant, were allegedly attacked in Coimbatore's Kuniyamuthur area, the police said.
The incident occurred when a six-member forest department team tried to chase away the elephant which had strayed into a human habitat from Madukkarai forest area, they said.
As the team used crackers to scare the pachyderm, it ran towards Palakkad Highway via BK Pudur in Kuniyauthur, disrupting traffic for a while.
The 25-year-old elephant then came running towards the team and attacked two officials while the rest had a narrow escape. The duo was rushed to a hospital. The same elephant had attacked one person last week and a special team was formed to monitor the movement of the animal, they added.
Environmentalists add that a large area outside the forests were originally elephant corridors and they blame it on human encroachment for this man-animal conflict.
(With inputs from PTI)