A journalist of a Kannada daily was killed today by an elephant after he went too close to it to take a photograph at Orohallikere village, while three others were trampled to death in another incident at Kanivivehalli hamlet. Manjunath Gowda (23), a reporter of 'Vijayavani', was killed when an elephant lifted him by its trunk and threw him after he went too close to it at Orohallikere in Hoskote district near the state border with Tamil Nadu, said S S Kashi, Inspector (Hoskote). Gowda had come to the spot along with some friends, who managed to escape, he said. In another incident yesterday at Kanivehalli in Kolar district, three persons were trampled to death by an elephant herd. Two of the deceased were identified and were from Sonnepilla Halli and Abbenahalli villages, officials said. Assistant Conservator of Forests, Puttanna said the victims were working in the fields when the herd wandered in from Soolagiri forest in Tamil Nadu in search of water and food.
The men tried to escape but were trampled to death, he said. Police and forest officials said people of the two villages have been told not to venture out of their homes as the herd could turn violent. Puttanna said elephants had been causing a lot of damage to life and property in the last six months in Bangarpet and Malur areas of Kolar district. About five people have been trampled to death in the past five months by elephants, which have been moving into Karnataka from Tamil Nadu in search of food and water. Officials from Bannerugatta National Park have been deployed to drive back the jumbos to the Tamil Nadu forest.