Uttar Pradesh: Shrinking forests, rising numbers make elephants turn aggressive
File photo for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: Following huge protest by locals over death of a man who was trampled to death by a wild elephant on Saturday, the Kerala government has announced Rs one million compensation and a job to the kin of the deceased.

State Forest Minister A. K. Saseendran told the mediapersons that the need of the hour is to allow tempers to cool down in the wake of the most unfortunate incident of a man losing his life.

"The state will give Rs one million and a government job to one in the family of the victim. We all understand the feelings of the people," said Saseendran.

The victim has been identified as Ajeesh (42), a taxi driver.

The incident occurred near Mananthavady around 7 a.m. Following the incident, angry people blocked the roads and also prevented the vehicle of SP from moving forward.

The police official was on way to the Mananthavady Medical College where the body of Ajeesh was kept. The SP was forced to walk on foot by the locals to the medical college.

The locals have been protesting against the local legislator for "failing" to protect people from the wild animals.

Sources said that the wild elephant had a radio collar which was put by Karnataka forest officials but the elephant had crossed over to the Kerala forests and entered Manathavady areas where people live.

The Kerala Forest department has also decided to take steps to tranquilise the wild elephant and then leave it into the deep forest.

Meanwhile, Congress Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi wrote in his social media account that he is shocked by the untimely demise of Ajeesh from Payyampally, Mananthavady who succumbed to a fatal attack by an elephant.

"Another life has been tragically lost in Wayanad due to a wildlife attack. He was the sole breadwinner of his family and the primary caregiver to his mother. My heart goes out to his family, especially his ailing mother and young children," Rahul said.

"The spate of wildlife attacks, especially elephant attacks have caused tremendous damage to the lives and livelihoods of the people in Wayanad. They have paid a huge price due to the rising instances of human-animal conflict."

"We have repeatedly demanded for intervention to mitigate such attacks in Wayanad, particularly to protect our farmers. However, the lack of a comprehensive action plan to tackle this issue has only aggravated the conflict. I urge the Central and State governments to take decisive steps and put in place a response mechanism that can protect both our communities and the wildlife of the region," the Congress leader wrote.