Elephants run amok inside Guruvayoor temple


News – Panic spread on Sunday morning inside Guruvayoor temple in Thrissur as three elephants ran amok, leaving three people injured including a mahout.

The incident happened around 7am, as three elephants were walking in the procession for ‘kazcha sheeveli’. Gopi Kannan was the elephant carrying the lord’s idol and elephants accompanying him were Sree Krishna and Ravi Krishnan.

Sree Krishna walking behind Gopi Kannan, caught Gopi Kannan’s tail and made him furious, leading to these events. Sree Krishna was the same elephant who injured a devotee during an elephant race in 2010. He is one of the constant trouble makers among temple elephants, according to temple authorities.

On Sunday, Gopi Kannan was the first to run amok and punched his tusk into a mahout’s chest, while the mahout was trying to save a devotee from the elephant. Seconds later, the other two elephants also became violent.

The priest jumped off of Gopi Kannan as he was running through the Bhagavati temple door. The idol slipped off the priest’s hand and got damaged. Ravi Krishnan was brought under control very soon but it took about 30 minutes to bring Sree Krishna under control. All three pachyderms were taken to elephant sanctuary after bringing them to control.

In the meantime, all temple doors were opened and devotees were guided to safety under the supervision of Guruvayoor ACP. “All elephants were brought under control very soon and a well coordinated effort resulted in prevention of additional injury and damage to temple properties,” Siva Das, ACP Guruvayoor, told TNM.

The temple activities resumed around 9 in the morning.

The injured mahout, Subash, was rushed to a local hospital but was taken to a private hospital in Thrissur as doctors recommended surgery. The two devotees who were injured were discharged after medical treatment.

Sunday morning witnessed a spike in the number of devotees, and many devotees sustained minor injuries during the rush.

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