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Monday, May 1, 2017

Elephant calf comes calling home .. .. ....

‘depredation’ ~ (noun) would mean an act of attacking or plundering.  This word is often associated with the ravage/ raid and resultant damage caused by elephants.  The picture of an elephant atop a house at Mudumalai surprised me – but perhaps was no great news for locals !

There are frequent reports of wild elephants causing damage to crops, some property and rarely humans too. Most of the damage is said to be caused during the rainy season when the elephants from these protected areas enter the human settlements in this region. 

In summer, elephants search for waterholes and in their movements come in conflict with humans – again, in many cases, the shrinking forests and encroachments in the elephant corridor are cited as reason for the conflicts.  Globally, they are poached in large numbers, mainly for the tusks and are getting killed cruelly.

Those working in MNCs for sure would have heard very many high sounding terminologies, words of Management parlance  and some are associated with elephants.  Yes, elephants. Sales people go hunting for elephants; lack of coordination across teams is like the story of blind men grasping at the elephant; ~ and elephant in board rooms.

Board members are concerned about the Company’s value; that is related to growth and then profitability, declaration of dividends, goodwill, reach of Company’s product and the like. Making more money from existing customers is the heart of “Customer Success Management” and as the Company grows,  revenue from existing customers becomes a larger and larger part of its economic value. In Board rooms, there would be talk on new sales, bookings, managing sales and service, competitor analysis, leads and pipelines – but still, there could be larger and important issues, which may not be touched upon.

The phrase, ‘Elephant in the (board) room’ would mean an important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn't discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.

Presence of elephant could be uncomfortable and not very pleasant as found out by a houseowner, as reported in Times of India of date.  Building a house close to the road with its roof at the ground level has its hazards. A vehicle can veer off the road and plunge into the house, Zumila knew. But not even in her wildest dreams did she expect an elephant to crash through the roof.

A jumbo and its year-old calf were taking a stroll in the early hours of Thursday in the Kozhipalam area of Gudalur town when the baby stepped on the asbestos roof of the house. The sheet gave way and the calf vanished into a hole right in front of the eyes of its horrified mom. Zumila, 30, and her 45-day old baby were deep asleep when a deafening crash jolted them awake. In the dim light Zumila could see an elephant in the room looking dazed.

Just a bad dream, she thought, and wanted to go back to sleep. But things started happening. On hearing the terrified baby shrieking, the equally petrified calf went berserk. Zumila grabbed her baby and made a dash for the kitchen. “The elephant calf, in its haste to get out of this strange environment, knocked her down causing minor injuries,“ said P Ganesan, forest officer, Gudalur range.

The calf could not get out of the house as the front door was closed. Just as Zumila was desperate to save her child, the calf 's mother too was looking for ways to get its baby out of the mess. “The mother elephant broke open the back door of the house and pulled the calf out,“ said the forest official. “Once we received the information, we went to the spot and coaxed the elephant and its calf back to the forest,“ he said. Located on the Ooty Kozhikode road, Kozhipalam is just 500 metres away from a reserve forest area.

A badly shaken Zumila was  admitted to Gudalur Government Hospital. “We have photographed the damaged house. After procedural formalities, the government will recommend compensation to be paid to the family, the Forest official added.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Apr 2017.

PS :  During an Insurance seminar of IIISLA at Anaikatti, Coimbatore, I thought of taking a luncheon stroll – was informed by the lonely gatekeeper not to venture far on the road and be conscious all the time. It sounded eerie but this photo answers it all .. .. 

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