Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Angul: Kumki (trained) elephant 'Yashoda' which was brought to Satkosia Tiger Reserve to help in tranquilisation of tigress Sundari, trampled a man to death inside Purunakote range office premises in Angul today.

The deceased has been identified as Sudura Pradhan of Matiasahi village.

According to sources, the incident took place when Pradhan was feeding the elephant a banana plant inside Purunakote Forest Range Office, where the pachyderm was kept.

It is suspected that the elephant went berserk as there was a delay in serving food after it was chained, added sources.

The forest officials reached the spot to find out under what circumstances the elephant attacked the villager. Anugul DFO informed that the incident took place when ‘Yashoda’ was being served food.

An ex-gratia of Rs 4lakh has been sanctioned by the administration for the family members of the deceased.

Reportedly, ‘Yashoda' was brought from the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary to Satkosia Tiger Reserve to help in the operation to tranquilise tigress ‘Sundari.’ The tigress was finally caught with the help of ‘Yashoda’ on November 6.