Injured elephant attacks forest crew trying to administer treatment, one killed

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Injured elephant attacks forest crew trying to administer treatment, one killed

Hassan: A wild injured elephant attacked the Forest Department team who went to administer treatment to it, leaving a forest officer dead in Karnataka’s Hassan district on Thursday, officials said.

The incident occurred in the forest near Halliyuru in Alur taluk in Hassan.

The deceased forest officer is identified as H.H. Venkatesh, 67. Venkatesh had worked as a forest guard earlier and after his retirement, he was hired through an outsourcing firm for his expertise.

An expert in administering tranquilisers to elephants, he was known as “Aane (elephant) Venkatesh”.

Bheema, the wild elephant, had suffered an injury and the Forest Department had decided to administer treatment to it.

Veterinarian and expert Vaseem, Venkatesh and others had gone for the task.

Venkatesh had gone close to the elephant to administer the tranquiliser when the animal became furious and attacked him. It lifted him up with its trunk and threw him away.

The elephant also attacked the others. It had never shown aggressive behaviour earlier.

The team somehow managed to rescue Venkatesh and shifted him immediately to the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) but he succumbed to his injuries.

His family members lashed at forest authorities for sending a 67-year-old man for the task. They also alleged that no precaution was taken before undertaking such a dangerous task.

Venkatesh is survived by his wife and two sons.

Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre paid his condolences on the death of Venkatesh and the department handed over the cheque of Rs 15 lakh to his family members.

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