Mahout dies after angry jumbo hurls stone at him

In a fit of rage, an elephant, which was taken for a temple festival to Palakkad district, hurled a stone at its mahout, causing serious head injuries and subsequent death.

PTI| Updated: May 03, 2017, 18:27 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: In a fit of rage, an elephant, which was taken for a temple festival to Palakkad district, hurled a stone at its mahout, causing serious head injuries and subsequent death.

The incident occurred two weeks ago at Alathur in Palakkad during a temple festival, when the animal ran amok, picked up a stone with its trunk and hurled it at the 49-year-old mahout.

 The injured man was taken to a local hospital, and later shifted to Kottayam medical college hospital, where he passed away on Monday, hospital sources said.

Dr Balakrishnan, Neurolgy department head, told PTI that probably the victim's brain was shattered in the impact of the hit.

 Mahouts being killed by elephants during 'musth' is a routine affair in Kerala, especially during temple festival.

'Musth' is a periodic condition in bull (male) elephants, characterized by highly aggressive behaviour and accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones. 

According to V K Venkitachalam, Secretary Heritage Animal Task Force, three mahouts have become victims of jumbo fury in the state in the last 10 days in different incidents in Thiruvanathapuram, Parasala and Palakkad.

Ten elephants have died in Kerala since January this year during temple festivities, he added.