Munnar: ‘Padayappa’, the famous wild elephant of Munnar ransacked a fruit and vegetable shop along the GH Road in the tourist hotspot on Wednesday. After breaking down the front portion of the shop, the tusker gorged on 6 bunches of bananas, apples, grapes, pomegranate and even 25kg of vegetables.
The losses are estimated to be at Rs 40,000; apart from the damage caused to the shop. This is the sixth time that ‘Padayappa’ has turned up at the shop, which belongs to Perumbavoor native M C Ouseph.
Each time, the elephant breaks into the shop and helps itself to the fruits and vegetables, trumpets loudly and returns to the forest. On Wednesday, it turned up early by 4am.
The rapid response team of the forest department from Devikulam arrived at the spot and burst firecrackers to make the elephant retreat.
The elephant first damaged the shop in 2020. So far, Ouseph has suffered damages to the tune of around Rs 5 lakh. But the total compensation he received from the forest department is only Rs 50,000.
The wild elephant, called ‘Padayappa’ by local residents, turned up before a KSRTC bus the other day.
Threat of the wild
With the vacations starting, the number of tourists heading to Munnar has increased. The wild elephants pose a threat to the vehicles that travel to the hill station late in the night. Both the local residents and traders have demanded that the forest department adopt safety measures.