Fresh case of wild elephant attack in Kerala: Man killed in Idukki

Wayanad, recently witnessed massive protests by local people as two persons were killed in attacks by wild elephants.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 27, 2024 | 11:30 AMUpdatedFeb 27, 2024 | 11:30 AM

Kerala High Court human-animal conflict

Human-animal conflict continues to haunt Kerala. A man was killed in a wild elephant attack in Kannimala estate near the tourist town of Munnar in Idukki.

Some other passengers were in the autorickshaw when the vehicle was attacked by the elephant on the night of Monday, 26 February, police said.

The deceased person was identified as Suresh Kumar, also known as Mani, an autorickshaw driver from Idukki, they added.

Wayanad, another hilly district in the state, recently witnessed massive protests by local people as two persons were killed in attacks by wild elephants.

Various political parties announced roadblocks and other protests in the Munnar area on Tuesday, 27 February. They sought intervention by the authorities to address the increasing human-animal conflict in the region.

Also Read: MoEF to use Salim Ali centre for mitigating human-animal conflicts in Kerala

Previous attacks and protests

  • On 10 February A 42-year-old man Aji was killed by a wild elephant in a human settlement near Mananthavady Wayanad. CCTV visuals showed the elephant, fitted with a radio collar, damaging a house’s compound wall before attacking the man.
  • On 16 February Pakkom Vellachalil VP Paul, an eco-tourism guide of the forest department, was killed by a wild tusker near Kuruva island.
  • Following the 16 February incident, protesters gathered in Pulpally town, seeking compensation for Paul’s family and a permanent solution to the human-wildlife conflict.
  • While angry locals staged flash protests, blocking Mananthavady-Mysore, Mananthavady-Kozhikode, and Thalassery roads following Aji’s death. They also blocked the vehicles of the local MLA and the District police chief, raising “go back” slogans.
  • Some protesters marched to the sub-collector office in Wayanad, where district officials, including the Collector, were holding a meeting. Violent agitators banged on doors and grills.
  • Locals blocked streets, protesting by placing the body of Aji, one of the victims, in the middle of the road.
  • The Opposition Congress demanded the resignation of Forest Minister AK Saseendran in the wake of the incidents.
  • Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi visited the houses of the two victims to console their family members.
  • Union Minister Bhupender Yadav also visited the families of the men who died in animal attacks in Wayanad and assured them all possible help to put their lives back on track.
  • The agitators concluded their protest after the government’s announcement of various relief measures.
  • The relief measures included ₹10 lakh for the family of the deceased and the government also promised to take care of the education of the two children of the deceased.

Also Read: Bhupender Yadav offers ‘full support’ to families of Wayanad wild animal victims

(With PTI inputs)