Marianus Toppo has been compared to Steve irwin
Statesman News Service
Rourkela, 14 November
Marianus Toppo had never met “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Robert Irwin in person. They were living thousands of miles away, and their lives were completely different.
There were, however, two striking resemblances between Marianus, who is known for his skills to shoo away marauding elephants into the wilds, and Steve.
Both of them used their unique abilities for helping fellow human beings ~ Steve by creating awareness about the wild life, and Marianus by saving human lives and properties from the prowling pachyderms.
Sadly, both of them met their tragic ends while performing their duties. Steve had succumbed after being stung by a stingray barb while shooting a documentary film, while Marianus was trampled by an elephant. A pall of gloom descended on Odisha-Jharkhand bordering region with death of Marianus yesterday. Marianus, who along with his daughter Nirmala was shot to fame recently for their unique abilities, was much in demand by the forest department officials.
According to reports, Marianus was summoned by the department to chase away a herd ~ comprising of about 17 elephants including six calves ~ in Biramitrapur range yesterday. The services of Marianus were necessitated when the departmental staff found that all their efforts went in vain and the herd continued wrecking havoc.
“During the drive, a male elephant rushed towards Marianus. All his attempts to flee to safety failed as the angry animal lifted him by his truck and banged to the ground,” said DFO Rourkela Mr Sanjeev Kumar. Quoting his departmental staff and local villagers, Mr Kumar said that the animal, apparently enraged over human behaviour, crushed him to death.
Marianus was rushed to a hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.
The situation turned tense when a large number of local residents, most of whom are tribals, got agitated and demanded sufficient compensation for the bereaved family.
DFO Mr Kumar informed that the department has paid Rs 10,000 for cremation while the Rs 2 lakh compensation will be provided after certain formalities.
“We all are heartbroken over death of Marianus. He was a nice person and served the region in a big way~ saving human lives and properties~ by helping us chase away the animals to forests. We have requested the higher-ups in the state forest department to give the family more compensation,” said Mr Kumar.