TV cameraperson shooting river crossing of wild elephants trampled to death

Rising incidents of deaths in elephant attacks sparks anger among people

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 08 May 2024 12:36 BST
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A television cameraperson was trampled to death while shooting wild elephants crossing a river in southern India.

AV Mukesh, 34, who was a columnist and cameraperson for Malayalam language TV Mathrubhumi was filming elephants in a forest area in Kerala’s Palakkad on Wednesday when he was attacked by an elephant.

The incident is among the latest in a series of man-human conflicts that have sparked increasing anger among the people in the state. The government, however, attributes the rising incidents to climate change and ecological imbalance.

Mukesh was filming a herd of elephants crossing a river when he tripped and fell, catching the attention of an agitated elephant, according to Ommcom News.

Mukesh suffered severe injuries in the attack and was rushed to hospital where he received treatment. However, he succumbed to his injuries.

The details of the attack and the extent of his injuries are not known yet.

Minister for Forests and Wildlife Protection, AK Saseendran, expressed shock over the death of the video journalist and praised him for “bringing public attention to the sorrows and sufferings of those neglected by society”.

“We are all deeply saddened by the news of the tragic incident. The forest department staff on hearing about the incident did their best to save him,” said Mr Saseendran.

Known for its heavy forest cover, frequent killing in animal attacks is a major issue in the Indian state of Kerala. Although the state comprises merely 1.2 per cent of India’s land area, it contributes to 2.3 per cent of the country’s forest cover.

Mr Saseendran has previously blamed habitat loss and climate change on the growing incidents of human-animal conflicts.

On 10 February, Ajeesh Joseph, a 42-year-old farmer, was trampled to death by a radio-collared wild elephant in the hilly Wayanad district of Kerala.

It was the second death in an elephant attack in that district in just three weeks.

These incidents have caused anger among the community members who have held sporadic protests demanding protection from such incidents.

The people in the state have demanded strong boundary walls, elephant-proof trenches, warning electronic systems and radio-collaring of all wild elephants.

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