Coffee planter fires in the air; saves man from tusker attack

Coffee planter fires in the air; saves man from tusker attack

May 30, 2024

Pollibetta: A farmer heroically saved a man from a wild elephant attack by firing gunshots in the air at Pollibetta in Virajpet Taluk last night. The incident occurred when Chandra, a motorist, was on his way home near the Lourdes Hill Convent School on Siddapura Road and was attacked by the elephant, resulting in serious injuries.

Chandra was initially treated at Pollibetta Hospital and later shifted to Kodagu District Hospital in Madikeri for further care. The attack happened last night when Chandra was riding a two-wheeler to his home and was ambushed by the wild tusker. In his attempt to escape, a terrorised Chandra abandoned his bike and broke through the gate of a farmhouse, only to be attacked again.

Coffee planter Kuttanda Shyam Somanna, who lived on his farm nearby, heard the screaming sound of a man and rushed to the scene. As a precaution, he had taken his licenced gun with him. Despite pelting stones at the elephant, the animal remained unmoved and was trumpeting. Somanna then fired gunshots in the air, which finally scared off the elephant, which stormed into a coffee estate.

Shyam then informed the family of the injured Chandra and he was quickly taken to the hospital. Deputy Range Forest Officer Srinivas and his staff later visited him at the hospital.

This morning, farmers again spotted the tusker foraging inside the coffee plantation. Forest Department officials quickly arrived to chase away the elephant. The situation has led to growing frustration among locals.

Department failure alleged

Mookonda Viju Subramani, a former Zilla Panchayat member, flayed the Forest Department for its failure to curb the ongoing wild elephant menace in the Pollibetta area. He highlighted the risks faced by farmers, labourers and students who are now afraid to leave their homes due to frequent elephant attacks. There have been several fatalities in the area.

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Efforts by the Forest Department to drive the elephants from one plantation to another have not been successful, leaving the community in a state of constant fear. Subramani warned that if appropriate measures are not taken to address the issue, farmers and workers would unite to stage a massive protest and file a Police complaint against Forest Department officers.


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