'Spooked' Elephant Kills Mahout in Guwahati for Trying to Remove Banana Leaves
Honorary Wildlife Warden Kaushik Barua observed that modern elephant management techniques need to be introduced to build an infallible bond between a mahout and his elephant.
Representative photo (Image: AP)
Guwahati: A tusker named Ramu accidentally killed his mahout in Guwahati late Sunday afternoon. The sub-adult male elephant was on a routine stroll to gather banana trees around Dispur area when the incident happened.
According to sources, the animal got “spooked” when his mahout tried to remove the banana stems and leaves out of sight. The elephant turned towards the mahout, gave him a push with his trunk, and charged at him causing serious injuries, sources added.
Raju Rai, the mahout, was rushed to the hospital where he, unfortunately, succumbed to injuries. The 23-year-old mahout was looking after Ramu for the last three years. Ramu’s owner Bijayananda Choudhury owns three elephants in Guwahati. Sources further said that the elephant was found to be showing a “pre-musth syndrome” which could cause a change of behavior in elephants.
A team of veterinarians from Assam zoo later reached the spot and sedated the tusker. He will be kept under observation for some time. A female elephant present at the spot along with Ramu is stated to be fine.
Conservationist and Honorary Wildlife Warden Kaushik Barua observed that modern elephant management techniques need to be introduced to build an infallible bond between a mahout and his elephant.
“In Assam, although the relationship between a mahout and his elephant has stood the test of time, modern elephant management techniques, especially behavioral science needs to be incorporated into the regime.”
“No matter how many years of experience, a mahout should always be careful while approaching an elephant - the slightest noise can actually spook them,” said Baruah.
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