October 25, 2018
Coimbatore : A member of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) in the forest department at Chinnathadagam was trampled to death by an elephant. The tragedy happened when he along with some others was scaring away the elephant on the outskirts in the wee hours of Thursday.
This led to sharp reaction from some members and general public over lack of protection to the team.
Venkatesh (28) was part of the RRT, which was involved in scaring away elephants, which used to frequent human habitats in the Thadagam, Chinnathadagam and Periyanaickenpalayam forest areas.
The team, which was on the rounds in the area, swung into action on hearing about the straying of a rogue elephant, even as Venkatesh, Ramadas and Suryaprakash were engaged in bursting crackers to scare away it.
Suddenly, the elephant turned towards Venkatesh and attacked him leading to serious injuries on his head, legs and waist, resulting in his spot death. Venkatesh, son of a retired forest department official, had joined only three months ago. His body was taken to Government Hospital here for post mortem.
Meanwhile, some RRT members and their relatives and public, rushed to the hospital and resorted to a protest, saying there was no proper protection and the staff were not provided with adequate safety gears like torch and vehicle.
Later the body was taken to Venkatesh’s native place Virudhunagar.
The elephant had been creating menace in the area for the last 10 days and the public had asked the department to take efforts to prevent its straying.