Pandalam: A young man here narrowly escaped from a tusker that went on a rampage on his plot and adjacent road at Nariyapuram here in Pathanamthitta district on Sunday. The elephant ran amok when it was being brought back from Kunnamkulam in northern Thrissur district after it was paraded at a temple for the Sivarathri festival. It was finally tamed by its former mahout who had reached Muttom, near Thumpamon, on hearing the news.
It was sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Akhil belonging to Vadakkethil house, in Perumbral of Nariyapuram in Pathanamthitta district, was suddenly woken up by the strange barking of his dog. On opening the front door of the house, he was welcomed by the massive tuskers of an elephant which looked certainly hostile.
It took him a couple of seconds to make sure he was not dreaming. Banging the front door shut, Akhil ran towards the back of the house as the elephant lunged towards him. Luckily, the tusks hit the metal sheets stacked up against the front wall. Hearing the noise of the sheets falling down, the elephant got scared and turned back.
On the way back, it tore into the car which was in the front yard. The top of the car got mangled and the elephant dragged the car with its tusks to the other side of the road.
The elephant, named Neelakantan, belonging to Koyippurath Gopalakrishnan Nair of Venmani, had also brought down the compound wall of Jyothi Bhavan, the house of one Yashodharan at Thattayil. Almost 15 meters of the wall got razed to the ground.
Shocker at dawn
It was around 4 in the morning when the lorry carrying the elephant reached Nariyapuram. The mahout, also named Akhil, and his assistant were trying to get the elephant down from the lorry when a street dog ran across, scaring the elephant so much so that it ran amok along the Panthalam– Pathanamthitta road. It then ran towards Muttom via Thumpamon. On the way the elephant tried to attack a KSRTC bus and upturn the electric posts and later trampled the compound wall of Yashodharan's plot.
Reaching Muttam, the elephant took position right in the middle of the road, blocking the traffic. By that time, Manu, the former mahout, had reached the spot, hearing the news. He managed to control the elephant and got it tied down in the nearby rubber plantation. He also gave the elephant water, bananas and coconut leaves.
Bringing water from the nearby wells, the ex-mahout cooled down the elephant, bringing relief to the local people who were kept on tenterhooks till then.
Later the local police and Forest officer C S Prakash arrived on the spot.
The Forest officer said that the elephant would be allowed to be untethered from the spot only after an examination by a veterinary doctor, even though there were no signs of musth, a phase in male elephants when it turns highly aggressive.
Mahout Akhil said that the elephant was under musth from August 5 till the middle of October. It was taken to Kunnamkulam on March 4 for Sivarathri festival.
Akhil, whose car was damaged by the elephant, had followed the tusker with his friends till Muttom, waiting there till it was controlled.