Kodagu-based environmentalist Colonel (retd) Cheppudira P Muthanna sustained a fracture after being attacked by an elephant in his estate in Gonikoppal in the district on Wednesday. He was shifted to a hospital in Mysuru for treatment.
Col Muthanna, 67, was walking in his estate in Palibetta on Wednesday morning, when an elephant attacked him from the front; he fell down while attempting to run away. Workers in the plantation took him to a hospital in Gonikoppa before he was later shifted to an Apollo Hospital in Mysuru.
Speaking to TNM, Col Muthanna said that he is feeling fine and is on his way towards a full recovery. A resident in the area around Athuru in Kodagu told TNM that a male tusker had been spotted in a few estates in the past few weeks. It was spotted in Kolathodu and Bygodu villages a few days ago. The forest department in Kodagu said it will bear the expenses of Col Muthanna's treatment.
Col Muthanna was the former president of the Coorg Wildlife Society, an NGO that was at the forefront of fighting ecological issues in Kodagu district. He was instrumental in the efforts of environmentalists from Kodagu, in opposing a plan by the union government to link the hilly Kodagu district through a railway line. It is the only district in Karnataka that is currently not linked by a railway line. He also campaigned against a proposed high-tension power line in the district.
He joined the Indian army in 1972 and took voluntary retirement from service in 1996. He involved himself in efforts to save the forests in Kodagu and its surrounding areas. He was President of the Coorg Wildlife Society from 2003 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2020. In 2006, Col Muthanna received the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam award by the government of Karnataka for his work in the field of environment