According to sources, Phoolmala, a captive female elephant, owned by one Ichai Miah of Sukanta Nagar village in Kumarghat sub-division, died as she was attacked by Babulal, a 27-year old male captive elephant.
Phoolmala died when she fell down in an under-construction drain on the National Highway 8 at Sidongchara area in Pecharthal after being attacked, sources said.
“At Tongchara area, Babulal attacked Phoolmala in the morning hours today and later pushed her in the drain resulting in her death,” said sources.
The ‘mahout’ of the deceased elephant, Mukib Miah, a resident of Kailasahar in Unakoti district, was also attacked by Babulal.
Seriously injured Mukib Miah was immediately referred to Silchar for better treatment.
The locals stated that the elephant would have survived if it did not fall into the drain on the National Highway.
On being informed by locals, a forest officials’ team reached the spot and recovered the elephant.
It is suspected that Babulal is in ‘musth’.
Musth is a periodic condition in male elephants characterized by highly aggressive behaviour and accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones.
Testosterone levels in an elephant in musth can be on average 60 times greater than in the same elephant at other times (in specific individuals these testosterone levels can even reach as much as 140 times the normal).
Scientific investigation of musth is problematic because even the most placid elephants become highly violent toward humans and other elephants during musth.
Earlier, in the first week of October this year, a captive elephant in Sepahijila sanctuary of West Tripura went on berserk after it attacked its mahout when he had offered food to the animal.
The mahout was identified as Mafiz Mia.
A seriously injured Mafiz Mia was admitted to the trauma centre of the Agartala Govt Medical College Hospital (AGMCH).
According to media reports, mahout Mafiz Mia was attacked by the captive elephant in his chest with the tusk followed by trampling his lower part of the body with legs and head. The other people present at the spot somehow managed to rescue him.