Hanagodu (Hunsur Taluk): A Forest Department driver-cum-guard sustained grievous injuries when a wild tusker attacked him near Veeranahosalli inside the Nagarahole National Park limits early this morning. The victim is 35-year-old Madan Gowda and he has been admitted to Apollo BGS Hospital in Mysuru where doctors have described his condition is critical though out of danger.
The incident occurred at 6.30 am when a herd of over eight elephants crossed the fencing done by the Forest Department using scrap railway tracks. The herd utilised a gap in the fencing and crossed over to camp near a high school at Nagapura Third Block. Spotting the herd, villagers raised an alarm and some of them alerted the Forest Department officials. The Department officials arrived in their vehicles and attempted to scare away the elephants. They, along with villagers, shouted in unison to scare the elephants away.
While seven elephants managed to cross the rail fence, one tusker was stuck as it could not jump the fence. Panicked by the sounds, the elephant turned and rushed towards Madan Gowda who was among the Forest Department team. Caught unawares, Madan slipped and fell as he ran towards safety. The elephant gored him at his back below the spinal cord. He was also injured on his legs.
Seeing the tusker attacking Madan, the Department officials rushed to his rescue and managed to drive off the elephant. After first aid, Madan was shifted to Mysuru immediately and was rushed to Apollo BGS Hospital at Kuvempunagar by Assistant Conservator of Forests Prasanna Kumar and Range Forest Officer Madhusudhan. Doctors said that Madan is out of danger though his condition is critical. His health condition is closely being monitored.
Meanwhile, the Department officials have driven all the elephants back into the woods.