Representational image.
Representational ImageCreative Commons

A man has been trampled to death by an elephant near a temple in Tamil Nadu's Trichy district. The victim, who was in his 40s, was the mahout of 10-year-old Masini – the presiding elephant at the Samayapuram Mariamman temple.

The deceased has been identified as G Gajendran.

Experts haven't figured out what made the tusker go out of control as she is generally a very calm and cooperative animal, a resident said according to Times of India.

The website also reported that regional joint director of animal husbandry, Trichy said Masini got furious after someone allegedly pulled some hair from its tail and she vented its anger oh her mahout.

The angry jumbo, according to reports, pushed Gajendran off her back using her trunk and trampled him. She is then seen repeatedly stepping on the mahout's lifeless body and moving in circles inside the main temple premises.

Following the event, forest department officials brought another elephant to the temple to control Masini. She was ultimately calmed down my other mouths and tranquillizers.

It is under observation. Zoo doctor from Coimbatore has advised not to disturb it for the next six hours. Also, the doctor is on his way to Samayapuram," said the Joint director, according to New Indian Express.

Last year, Animal rights body PETA claimed that their investigations revealed that elephants in temples of South India are subjected to rampant cruelty.

"Today's findings reinforce those of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in 2015 and 2016 that these elephants are abused. Abused animals cannot bless, they can only curse," said Manilal Valliyate, the PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs and member of the Kerala State Animal Welfare Board, according to India Today.