Elephant attacks woman while being chased away into forest

Coimbatore: A 45-year-old woman from Arivozhi Nagar near Thekkupalayam on the outskirts of the city was attacked by a wild elephant on Monday morning. The incident took place when a team of forest department field staff and anti-poaching watchers were chasing away a herd of elephant into the reserve forest from Idikarai area. The woman, who sustained severe injuries to her head and face, has been admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), where she is battling for life.
The injured was identified as M Vijaya, of Arivozhi Nagar at Thekkupalayam.

According to forest officials, a herd of elephants had on Sunday night strayed into Kurudampalayam from the adjacent forest. The herd then crossed Mettupalayam Road at Gas Company near Narasimmanaickenpalayam and entered Idikarai village.

When alerted, anti-poaching watchers started to chase away the elephant herd back into the reserve forest on the early hours of Monday.

Around 5.30am, the elephant herd again crossed the Mettupalayam Road near Narasimmanaickenpalayam, this time on their way back to Kurudampalayam. Vijaya, meanwhile, came out of her house to go to the Thudiyalur vegetable market. She did not notice the elephant herd. Suddenly, one of the elephants charged towards her and attacked her. She sustained injuries to her head and face.

The anti-poaching watchers, who were following the herd, immediately chased away the elephant and rescued her. She was then taken to CMCH, where her condition is said to be critical.

The elephant herd was later chased into the reserve forest. The forest department has deployed two teams of anti-poaching watchers in the forest area to prevent elephants from straying into the plains. “They will man the forest boundaries round the clock,” a forest officer, who didn’t want to be named, said.

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