In the second incident of elephant death in Kerala due to human callousness within a span of two days, 52 year old tusker died following a motor vehicle accident at Illikkal near Kumarakom, a famous tourist resort in God`s Own Country, late Saturday night because of the carelessness of mahouts and a truck driver and lack of timely treatment.
Tusker Soman, owned by one Babu of Thottekkad in Kottayam district, died after meeting with an accident while being transported on a truck. Local people of Illikkal where the incidents took place and elephant- lovers alleged that the accident occurred due to the callousness of the truck driver but the tusker could have been saved, had doctors reached the site and treated it in time,
Arjun, a 21-year old tusker belonging to the guruvayur Devaswom managing the famous Lord Krihna temple in Thrissur district had died on Friday at the end of two and a half months of pain and suffering caused by the brutal torture the mahouts had inflicted on it while bringing it out of musth.
The accident which proved fatal for elephant Soman had occurred at about 9.00 am Saturday when it was being taken on a truck from Thanneermukkam in Alappuzha district to Thotekkad for the monsoon rejuvenation therapy.
The elephant died 14 hours after the accident, because of its impact and the delay in getting medical attention.
According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred when the driver of the speeding truck carrying soman applied brakes all of a sudden while passing over a speed- breaker on a decline near the Illikkal junction. when the truck came to an abrupt halt, the forehead of the tusker dashed against the cabin`s rear wall, resulting in a serious injuries to Soman.
the frame made of thick wooden bars within which the elephant was made to stand during the transit broke when the speeding truck hit the speed-breaker and a piece of broken wood spiked deep into one of its limbs. The driver and the mahouts, who were inside the cabin, were unaware of the jumbo`s plight and kept on moving in full speed, local residents said.
It was the local people, who saw the elephant standing on the truck in a desperate condition,
Blocked the vehicle following which the police and Fire Force reached the spot. Though doctors were informed immediately, medical help came only four hours later by which time the fatigued elephant had collapsed in the truck.
The elephant suffered further injuires in its trunk and limbs in the fall from the standing position. After all the efforts to make the jumbo stand up on the truck and to get it on to the road failed, it was taken out using a crane but Soman had grown very weak by the this time. The elephant died by about 11"15 pm.
"Soman had not died of that single accident," said Varghese, a resident of Illikaal . "There is several speed -breakers on the Thanneermukkam-Thottekkad road and its forehead could have been hitting the truck`s cabin wall every time the driver used brakes. I am certain the driver was drunk," he said.