The incident took place at the Samayapuram Mariamman temple where a 10-year-old cow elephant named Masini went berserk; later the elephant was controlled by other mahouts
The Hush Post: A mahout died on the spot after he was trampled by a 10-year-old cow elephant in a temple in Trichy district’s Samayapuram suburb in Tamil Nadu on Friday.
The 10-year-old cow elephant Masini has been the presiding elephant at the Samayapuram Mariamman temple for the last four years, a report said.
In a video of the incident, the cow elephant is seen repeatedly stepping on the mahout’s dead body inside the main temple. The elephant drags the dead mahout from side to side, as one man tries to retrieve the mahout’s body, the report said.
As per news reports, the cow elephant was blessing pilgrims as usual in front of the prasadam stall inside the temple, when she suddenly pushed her 48-year-old mahout Gajendran off her back using her trunk. As the mahout tried to bring her under control, she trampled him to death.
“Around 10.30 am, Masini trampled her mahout to death. The elephant was triggered by something, we don’t know what exactly. The public was at a distance from the elephant. There were 300 to 400 people inside. No one else was injured. Four mahouts from various temples have been brought in to help. She was aggressive for around 30 to 40 minutes. She has been chained now and has been calmed down,” District Forest Officer Sujatha was quoted as saying by TNM.
“A team of veterinary doctors have arrived to provide treatment to the elephant. The mahout’s body has been retrieved and has been sent for post-mortem. He has worked at the temple as a mahout for four years now,” Sujatha added.
According to the Forest Department, the elephant hails from Mudumalai and was brought to the temple in 2014. In January, Masini was sent to an elephant rejuvenation camp in Thekkampatti along with over 30 other elephants from the state.
The pilgrims were asked to step out and the temple remained shut for the day. The officials are hoping to take the elephant back to its choultry in the evening when there are fewer people around, the report said.