Farmer trampled to death by wild elephant in Kerala distt
November 23, 2022
A 70-year-old farmer was trampled to death by a wild elephant in
Santhanpara village of Idukki district in the early hours of Monday, forest
According to one official familiar with the matter, T Samuel, who owned a
small cardamom plantation, was on his way to his farm when the elephant
chased him down and trampled him down. After killing him, the tusker stood
near Samuel’s body for almost an hour, foiling attempts to rush him to the
hospital, said the official.
After news of his death broke, local residents blocked roads in the area
saying they had made repeated pleas to the authorities to check increasing
wild animal attacks, but no action was taken, said one resident, asking not
to be named.
According to local reports, this is the fourth elephant attack casualty
this year around Santhanpara.
“We are fed up with wild animals, especially wild boars and elephants. Even
our movements in day time is restricted due to this. it seems we have to
find some new techniques to scare away these animals because they are
acquainted with old ones,” said farmer George Kurian.
Later, senior police and forest officials intervened and promised immediate
help to the family of the deceased.
Statistics with the forest department show human casualties involving wild
elephant attacks have gone up considerably in recent years. Till November
this year, 36 deaths were reported in the state against 27 in 2020-21;
whereas in 2019-20, only 13 deaths were reported. A total of 17 and 21
deaths involving elephant attacks were reported in 2018-19 and 2017-18
In the last four years, 411 wild elephants also died in various mishaps and
infighting between herds, forest department statistics showed.
Wildlife experts said obstruction of elephant corridors, a change in crop
patterns and non-availability of enough food and water in forests is
resulting in the growing attacks. Cash crops growing in fringe areas of
forests attract many elephants to human habitats.
“It is a fact that human incursion in forest areas is on the rise. What we
need is a healthy co-existence of both, wild animals and humans. If we
respect the needs of both, we can lower clash between two,” said Dr P S
Esa, a leading wildlife expert.
Around 29% of the state’s total area is under forest cover. Kerala is also
home to a robust wildlife population with 190 tigers and 5,706 elephants
recorded in the state.