It was widely reported in media that Elephant Arjuna had trampled mahout to death. The question is did really Arjuna killed a Mahout late in 1990's! According to eye witnesses mahout Pasha of Sarla elephant and mahout Ramu of Gajendra elephant, on that faithful day the person who died in the incident is not Mahout, while its Kavadi Annaiah.
They say, earlier elephants were taken for a bath at Karanji Lake and were brought back to the Palace daily. The day when the incident occurred, Mahout of Bahuddur elephant had gone to collect payment, and Kavadi Annaiah rode the elephant.
“Always when we take elephants for walk we place female elephants in between of male elephants. But that day, in hurry Kavadi Annaiah placed Bahuddur elephant in front of Arjuna, which led to clash between the two elephants.”
“When Arjuna hit Bahaddur from the backside on the way, all of a sudden Bahaddur lost the balance because of the slope. Kavadi Annaiah who was not seated properly on back of Bahaddur lost his balance and felt to the ground. At this unexpected turn of event, the Kavadi was trampled beneath the feet of hind legs of Bahaduur or it might be from front legs of Arjuna which is even today mystery,” says Pasha the then Kavadi of Sarala.
While Mahout Ramu, who was then Kavadi of elephant Kokila says
“the mistake is of Kavadi Annaiah not Arjuna. He had not placed himself properly on the head of elephant. During the clash he fell down and might be stamped by Arjuna as he was following Bhaddur. Moreover, Wild elephants tramped persons very vigorously, but this incident was merely an accident and not an act of violence are rage by Arjuna. As Arjuna was standing next to him, the news spread as wild fire that Arjuna has trampled the mahout.”
When contacted Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj he said that Arjuna is very soft and though he might had killed a person, it might be accident. Anyways, after the incident an permanent bathing pit was built inside the palace.