When a baby elephant spent 10 minutes in a mall

Images from the day a wild female elephant and her son went on the rampage on the streets of Mysore, attacking human beings and animals, toppling parked vehicles, jumping over fences and generally creating the kind of havoc in reality that we otherwise happily gape at in awe on television.

Star of Mysore reports that the elephants, lost and frightened, came from T. Narasipur side, traversing 24 kms overnight. The evening daily also has this timeline of the elephants’ run through the main thoroughfares of the city before being tranquillised and transported back to the forests.

5.40 am: Elephants run around RMC yard, upsetting vegetable baskets and push-carts.

6 am: Enter densely populated Tilak Nagar and attack a herd of three cattle, severely injuring them.

6.10 am: The elephants reach Sayyaji Rao Road where the calf gets separated from its mother. The female elephant runs on the Mysore- Bangalore road and attacks a woman who is jogging. She escapes unhurt as she jumps and lies down in a drain.

6.20 am: The calf, more panicky after being separated from mother, enters JK Ground.

6.30 am: Calf reaches Ayurveda College Circle, chases a KSRTC bus upto Bata showroom, turns into Dhanvanthri road and enters Banana Mandi in Boti Bazar.

6.45 am: Enters Devaraj Mohalla, chased by a horde of curious people.

7 am: Enters the cellar of More shopping mall on Narayana Shastry Road. Comes out after 10 minutes, attacks the ATM security guard, killing him.

7.10 am: Runs towards Devaraj Urs Road. Forest department personnel arrive.

7.15 am: At Lakshmi Vilas Road near Maharani’s College, first shot of tranquilliser fired. Calf barges into college’s main gate.

7.35 am: Reaches Sainik Bhavan where second shot of tranquilliser is administered.

8 am: Reaches Oval Grounds near DC’s office where third dose of sedative is fired, but calf showed no signs of weakness, causing anxiety among the authorities.

8.15 am: Tries to climb over tall iron grill by standing on its hind legs. Exits Oval Ground via gate, reaches Maharaja’s College ground. Fourth tranquilliser fired.

8.25 am: Passes through Railway Underbridge, runs past fire brigade in Saraswathipuram.

8.35 am: Enters JSS Women’s College, runs around the premises. DC Harsha Gupta and Police commissioner Sunil Agarwal arrive. Fifth dose fired.

8.45 am: Reaches Dhobi Ghat near University Swimming pool beside Kukkarahalli lake and stands there, seeming exhausted as sedatives take effect.

9 am: Becomes fully unconscious and collapses. Chief Conservator of Forests (Elephants) Ajay Mishra, CCF (Tigers) Dr. B.J. Hosamath, ACF Gopinath and others bind the tusker with ropes and chains.

Photographs: Narayan Yadav/ Karnataka Photo News and contributor

Also read: ‘The Maharaja’s elephant made me a lensman’

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15 Responses to “When a baby elephant spent 10 minutes in a mall”

  1. voyeur Says:

    How do we know that the calf is a male? It rushed into Maharani’s college

  2. Sapna Says:

    They travelled 24 kms?? God only knows what had gotten into them. Looks like they are avenging something!!

  3. Aruna Says:

    @voyeur And then to JSS women’s!

  4. Murthy Says:

  5. zim Says:

    sad news

  6. guest75 Says:

    Made me extremely sad to see the security guard Renuka Prasad getting mauled and losing his life. May God rest his soul and my prayers with his family.
    Hapless cow struggling to save itself, couldn’t do so as it was tied to the Parking board.

  7. Ananth Bhat Says:

    Sakathagi trip hodedide… But feel sorry for the man who died and also the cows. Any buddijeevis of mysore, please enlighten me on how far a forest is nearby to Mysore city?

  8. Jagadish Says:

    While I sympathise with the affected people, this comes as no surprise. Elephants are among nature’s most intelligent animals and we have been plundering and destroying their forests and homes for hundreds of years. The frequency of elephant attacks have been increasing, not just here but in other parts of India too. Yet we don’t want to examine the reasons behind this strange behaviour.

  9. Kumar Says:

    Why did it take 5 shots of tranquilliser? Shouldn’t we be questioning the “competent” rangers and officials of the Mysore Zoo and others who were involved in this operation?

    Anybody who gets trained in these matters surely is also trained on the right dosage of the sedative. It should have taken no more than two shots. As usual, there will never even be a thought of an inquiry in an effort to learn from this incident and be wise the next time.

    Perhaps the good journalists are just too excited by the whole experience to question. Or
    Do they think it is just not important enough for the day?

  10. poli huduga Says:

    If we allow two wild elephants to ran amok for 3+ hours through a major city, is it any wonder that we can’t protect ourselves against armed terrorists? Completely ridiculous. Where the hell was forest department for 1.5 hours and why does it take them a further 2 hours to subdue these elephants? Bunch of jokers.

  11. ERR Says:

    if only the army of Forest conservators had unloaded a truck load of Sugar cane / coconuts before they entered the city, the elephants probably would have cooled down. Then they could drugged them in buckets of water…. New place, separated ,confused, hungry, thirsty and yelling crowds following them.. no wonder they acted the way they did

  12. Nastika Says:

    To all the worshipers of Lord Ganesha, welcome:

    Let me start with 2 facts about elephants. Did you know,
    > That elephants can cover distance of 50~60Km in single night?
    > That elephants can communicate (sound) over a distance of 10Km?

    My guess on what happened:
    1) 2 elephants (one old & other young male), during their regular movement, by mistake entered Mysore city. They must surely have been separated from herd.

    2) Startled by humans, somehow those 2 elephants got separated.

    3) The young elephant (8 or 9 year old) panicked. All it wanted was to join its herd. But everywhere it saw people. And people made noise, threw stones.
    Note that it wasn’t ‘mast’, since it was too young.

    4) Elephant’s survival instinct took over. It over threw whatever it came across.

    5) Finally it was tranquilized. When it woke up, it found in the company of other forest department elephants. It calmed him. It gracefully walked away.

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    @sapna: Your avenging theory looks interesting. Maybe the young elephant wanted to ”avenge” the death of his grand father, who was killed by Veerappan. It mistook the ATM security guard to be Veerappan’s relative.

    @guest75: True, death is very sad incident. People instigated the elephant to panic. Left alone, it would have found its way or forest dept would have caught earlier. News channel had a field day showing the death and blaming the elephant.

    @Ananth Bhat: Just like your house compound, the elephants and other animals must be educated about forest compound. BTW, ever wondered why the forest compound is moving back & back every year?

    @Jagadish: Thanks for bringing some sanity in the comments section

    @Kumar, poli huduga: We can give benefit of doubt to police & forest department for getting caught unaware, since this is first time it happened and it happened early hours.

    In future, whenever a forest animal is found in human colony,
    1) Humans must call helpline (say 100 or 911). Both forest & police are intimated by the operator.
    2) Police must cordon off the surrounding area. No human must enter the area and scare the animal by noice, crackers, sticks or stones.
    3) Forest dept must catch the animal appropriate & take care of further actions.

    Given the human intelligence, I doubt these will happen.

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    Some newspapers called the elephant that killed a man & damaged few bikes as ‘rogue’, ‘rowdy’. What about some men who go to forests, kill tress & kill animal? What so they call them? Businessman?

  13. Ananth Udupi Says:

    @ Poli Huduga,

    Blaming solely on Forest department is not worth. People started pelting stones and shouting against the young elephant and also it was seperated from the group hence it was scared and was violently attacking whoever in front of it. People should have been acted more smartly when they saw an elephant in the heart of the city instead of shouting and pelting the stones.

  14. Nastika Says:

    @Ananth Udupi: Elephants are common in South Karnataka towns. Every big temple has few. So if an elephant is walking on the road, 99.99% people assume its tamed one. But absence of a mahout must raise a concern. Its very unlikely the dead person thought that elephant was a wild one.

    I think the govt must make a rule – all animals in towns, cities & villages, *must* be accompanied by humans, to ensure safety of other humans.
    Any unaccompanied animal must be reported to forest department.

  15. B.V. Kishore Kumar Says:

    …such instances cannot be stopped till human beings stop entering animal habitats. Why do we need resorts, spas r mutts at the cost of forests???..

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