It was reported across News media some few days back on the killing of an elephant by hunters in Idanre, Ondo State. The hunters have however come out to reveal the story behind the killing. They alleged that they were attacked by a pack of the animals, but they were able to kill one.
One of the residents of the community identified as Ojo Adaralode opened his account of the community’s encounter with some elephants a few days ago.
“These elephants will come in the night, destroying farms and houses. On this fateful day, I was called that a group of elephants, numbering about eight, had invaded the farms of some residents at Janiyi Village. I rushed there and lo and behold, we met about eight elephants, already charging and running after the residents of the village.”
In the last few days, the news of the killing of an elephant by in Janiyi Village, Idanre in Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State, spread like a wild fire and has gone viral on the social media, becoming a subject of discourse across the world.
The killing, which some people perceived to be a risky, difficult task, was carried out by 57-year-old local hunter, Adaralode, who said his action was a patriotic act to defend his people against attacks by elephants that had frequently been straying into and destroying the village and six other adjourning villages.
To some people and residents of the affected communities, the killing was a great relief because of what they had suffered in the past and the havoc wreaked on their farmland and the killing of some residents by the elephants in recent time. Adaralode, who is the head hunter and president of the Hunters Association in Idanre Local Government Area, explained that the killing of the elephant was not deliberate but it was done in self-defence.
Speaking with Saturday Tribune, Adaralode said elephants from the thick forest surrounding the community had been visiting the affected villages in the area for some time. The invading elephants, he said, had been destroying their mud houses, farmlands and injuring residents.
“These elephants would come in the night, destroying farms and houses. On this fateful day, I was called that a group of elephants, numbering about eight, had invaded the farms of some residents at Janiyi Village. I rushed there and lo and behold, we met about eight elephants, already charging and running after the residents of the village.
“A farmer/ hunter, who sighted the elephants on his farm and raised the alarm, was surrounded by the animals. He tried to shoot into the air to scare them away, but the animals surrounded him, trampled on him and, in the process, destroyed his gun. The young hunter is still lying critically ill in a hospital here in Idanre.
“Apart from the young man, no fewer than eight members of the community were said to have sustained varying degree of injuries during the stampede, which lasted more than three hours, before one of the elephants was hit by the bullets of the hunters who shot sporadically to scare away the animals.
“We shot into the air several times to scare the elephants away, but our efforts yielded no result and one of the elephants was shot in the process. The other elephants tried to protect one of their own that was injured. They dragged it from the scene, even when they noticed the wounded elephant, a female, had given up the ghost but eventually they all left without it,” Adaralode said.
The chief hunter said the people of the communities had been living in fear for months as the group of elephants kept visiting the communities. He said all efforts to keep away the animals from the communities yielded no result.
He, therefore, solicited help from the government and the relevant agencies to come to the aid of the people of the agrarian communities saying many of the residents have stopped going to the farm.
“Government should try and capture these animals. We have other animals here, we have lions and leopards in this thick forest and people are scared to live in these villages now,” he said.