View Full Version : British tourist killed by jumbo in Mudumalai

Roopak Gangadharan
26-09-2013, 09:47 AM
Incidentally there was a discussion on this a few days back.


Infact this was very much anticipated in Mudumalai, every local in masinagudi claims to be tracker and will take unsuspecting tourist in to the jungle which has a high population of elephants. Ive seen women and children going into the forest almost like taking a stroll in a park.


UDHAGAMANDALAM: A 67-year-old British tourist from London was killed by a wild elephant at Masinagudi near Gudalur in the Nilgiris late Thursday evening. Two tourist guides who were with him managed to escape the jumbo and are presently in police custody.

Colin Manell, a British citizen, and Romi, a tourist guide he had hired in Kochi, had checked into a jungle resort owned by one Sagadevan at Masinagudi, about 12 km away from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, on Wednesday. On Thursday, Manell and Romi ventured into the jungle accompanied by Kumar, a local guide, according to police. They sighted a lone elephant during the trek and Manell took out his camera. Police suspect that the elephant got irritated with the flash light and charged at the men. The jumbo managed to strike Manell with its trunk while Romi and Kumar managed to flee. Manell sustained injuries on his head and chest.

The guides returned with help from the resort and Manell was rushed to Gudalur Government Hospital, where the doctors pronounced him dead. Manell's body has been kept at the mortuary in Gudalur GH. Post-mortem will be conducted on Friday. According to police, Manell had arrived in Kochi from London on September 13.

Police and forest department officials are not sure whether the incident happened in the reserve forest. "We will be able to ascertain whether the place is a reserve forest area or social forestry area only after we inspect the spot where the unfortunate incident happened," F Paulraj, inspector, Masinagudi police station, told TOI. Police are yet to register a case. "We will inspect the place overnight and we will register a case accordingly," said Paulraj.

Several resorts near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Masinagudi and neighbouring villages lure tourists with the promise of night safaris to sight Asian elephants, tigers and leopards. Wildlife activists allege that jeeps from several resorts drive into the jungles with these tourists in violation of forest department rules and disturb the wildlife. They also put the tourists at risk, wildlife activists say.


Sabyasachi Patra
26-09-2013, 11:01 AM
I have trekked in those areas a few years back. Due to the dense vegetation, running away will be far too slow. And it is easy to lose time trying to keep to the narrow trail.

Once I was in that area with a tribal guide who could smell the elephant about 15 meters or so before me. Since I didn't understand his language, he just pointed at his nose and I couldn't smell despite trying hard. After another 15m or so, I could clearly smell the elephant. Living in concrete jungles and constantly being assaulted by strong synthetic perfumes and other smells as well as not depending upon our nose, our sense organs are not as great as that of the tribals. And completely inferior to those of wildlife.

It is madness using a flash at an elephant. We need to be careful in the jungle.

Rajan Kanagasabai
04-10-2013, 07:24 PM
If my geography of this place is correct, this is not the core zone and is almost the fringes of the social forestry area. A friend has permanently relocated here with his family (enough of the concrete jungle) and we spend a lot of time here. The place is a combination of shrubby and a bushy terrain, often with a lot of troughs and mounds all over. It is extremely difficult to trek, leave alone run and for aged people, this is not a terrain for a trek in the first place.

Of late, such incidents of animals attacking tourists are on the rise, more on the Masinagudi side. Perhaps this is an indication of the increase in tourist inflow on one hand and locals and untrained touts posing as guides and trackers, hoping to make a fast buck on the other. This also has a bearing on the rigidity of the enforcement of jungle rules, while still allowing resorts to operate such illegal treks and safaris in and around the jungles.