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Unbelievable - Man-eating Tree at Patrame Tries to Gobble up Cow
by Melka Miyar - Daijiworld Media Network Mangalore

Mangalore
October 28, 2007

To Watch Video Click here

Beltangady, Oct 28: We agree with scientist Jagadeeshchandra Bose that every tree has life like we human beings. But have you ever heard of man-eating trees that are large enough to kill and devour a person or an animal. So far no such plant is known to exist though a variety of unconfirmed reports have been recorded at various places.

Zoologists and botanists across the world have had a fascination towards these man-eating plants that eat meat, from the days, since Charles Darwin wrote a book ‘Insectivorous Plants’ in 1888.In Roy Mackal’s book, ‘Searching for Hidden Animals’ published in 1980, there is a mention of man-eating plants in the last chapter ‘Searching for Hidden Animals’.

Like Darwin, Mackal was too bitten by the interest towards man-eating trees. In his book he claims of having acquired different species of carnivorous plants. 

Now botanists have got an opportunity to try their hand again. Rarest of the rarest incidents has taken place in a remote village in Dakshina Kannada. People of Patrame, about 30 kilometres from Uppinangady are startled by the incident that occurred fifteen days ago. A tree (locally known as Maruva tree) tried to grab and gobble up a cow that was left in the forest to graze.
 
A glance at the spot, where this above-mentioned carnivorous tree used to stand fifteen days ago, before it was chopped by Vasanna, a local, would make you feel nothing but denying the whole incident.

But if you listen to the eyewitness Pushpalatha, a young girl, you will believe it. Her scared eyes tell us the whole horrifying scene which she saw for the first time. Locals here say that everything occurred in front of them. Pushpalatha was the first one to sight the phenomenon. It was around 12.30 pm when she was on her way to the shop. 

Suddenly an awesome scene stopped her. A tree was literally lifting the cow. The tail of the cow was completely rolled inside the tree. Moreover, the tree was grabbing the cow. Only the front legs of the cow were on the ground. It was like a crane lifting a vehicle.

Immediately she informed her mother Kunnhi, who rushed to the spot and asked Pushpalatha not to touch the tree. Later Vasanna, who was engaged in fencing work nearby, rushed to the spot and started cutting the branches of the carnivorous tree. But the hungry tree was not willing to let go of the cow. Finally he had to chop the tree and he succeeded in saving the cow.

When this correspondent went to the house of Ananda Gowda who owns the cow, the animal was recovering from the pain in its tail. Ananda Gowda applied medicines on the cow’s tail.

The carnivorous tree of Patrame is not a big tree. The tree is called as ‘Maruva’ in local language. (A local botanist says it could be Terminalia Paniculata, subject ot verification.) How this small tree can grab an animal is a million-dollar question for the villagers.

This is not the first incident of its kind that has terrified the people. A similar incident had occurred 30 years ago, recalls Puttanna, a villager here. He claims that his bull was grabbed by a tree called ‘Sarali’ in local language. Later, the villagers saved the bull by cutting the branches of the tree. Along with this there are several cases of  villagers complaining that their cows which had gone crazing returned home with injuries.  Some of them had severe wounds on their tails.  But no one could unravel this mystery.  But now with the present incident, all fingers point towards 'maruva' tree.

Villagers of Patrame believe that there is a tree called ‘Pili Mara’ (tiger tree) which grabs animals. According to Ananda Gowda, the Nalike community which performs ‘Bhoota Kola’ has more information about this tree.

Ananda Gowda quoting one of the 'padd'danas' (folk songs in Tulu) stated that there is a mention of tiger tree in them.

It is a common belief among the villagers that any person who climbs a tiger tree should pierce the sickle into that tree beforehand. The iron in the sickle has the power of resistance against the carnivorous tree, he says.

But in spite of all these explanations, it is still hard to believe that a tree can gobble a cow. Experts and scientists only can find the truth. Now the ball is in their court.

To Watch Video Click here

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Comments on this article
V.R. Lobo Shenoy, MangaloreSaturday, November 03, 2007
One must not believe such superstitious stories!
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Dinesh N, USAThursday, November 01, 2007
The cows and calves swing their tails all the time. It is not surprising that once in a while they get stuck in the fork between the branches. Most of the time, they pull it off, sometimes with some injury. When they cannot, we get stories like this.
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Joachim Fernandes, USThursday, November 01, 2007
The nightmare of VHP/BJP/RSS continues. Beef eating Indians are bad enough, now they have to contend with beef eating trees. VHP/BJP/RSS scientists have a golden opportunity to investigate the mystery and could possibly win a Nobel prize for their efforts. They could also answer the question that must be on many people's minds. Was the tree after the medicinal properties of cow urine or the medicinal benefits of cow dung?
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Purushottama, ByndoorTuesday, October 30, 2007
That exactly is what the enviornmentalists always say- Our region is filled wit rare species of flora and fauna which can not be created by man once again if it destroyed due to hazardous projects that are coming up. I remember during my childhood in the 60's having seen a piece of wood that was glowing in the dark. Some bus driver to Kollur had found it in Kodachadri. It was glowing like that till it dried. I do not know the specie or location but I remember the incident till date. The best thing for us to will be to preserve what the nature has given us. The nature is God's creation not man's.
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Johncy N., MumbaiThursday, November 01, 2007

It seems the plant mentioned by you neither fall in the category of the carnivorus plant. A few note about the carnivorous plant as follows. An insectivorous plant, also called a carnivorous plant, captures prey items, such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, mites, and protozoans, as a nitrogen source. Many insectivorous species live in freshwater bogs, where nitrogen is not present in available form, because the pH of the water is extremely acid. The forms of entrapment by these types of plants are modified leaves.

A few examples: • Brocchinia hectioides, B. reducta, Catopsis berteroniana of the Neotropics) • Byblidaceae (Byblis gigantea, B. liniflora of Australia and New Guinea) • Cephalotaceae (one species, Cephalotus follicularis, endemic to Australia) • Dioncophyllaceae (Triphyophyllum peltatum of western Africa) • Droseraceae (about 110 species Aldrovanda, Dionaea, Drosera, Drosophyllum) • Lentibulariaceae (Genlisea, Pinguicula, Utricularia) • Nepenthaceae (Nepenthes, 70 spp. of Southeast Asia and Madagascar) • Sarraceniaceae (Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, Sarracenia)

The General Types and Properties of Insectivorous Plants. • Active traps: involves rapid plant movement o Closing traps.  Example: the Venus' flytrap, Dionaea muscipula. The leaf blade is bivalved, convex, but not hinged per se, and bears up to six sensitive hairs per half leaf. An animal must trip two or three sensitive trigger hairs (trichomes), which causes the bulge to be reversed suddenly, closing the leaf.

Also on the upper (adaxial) leaf surface are multicellular hairs that secrete digestive enzymes. Digestion of an insect requires three to five days. If no prey was caught, the trap will open within an hour. Aldrovanda also has an active trap. o Trapdoors.  Example: bladderworts, Utricularia spp. This worldwide genus of approximately 180 species inhabits ponds and lakes. The bladder, a modification of an underwater leaf segment, is a one-way door. Fluids are absorbed during the resting stage to fill the bladder with air.

There are sensitive hairs located at the edge of the trapdoor, and when stimulated they cause the valve to move due to a sudden change in electrical potential. When the trapdoor swings inward, there is a sudden inrush of water (1/460th of a second), pulling in the aquatic organism, and then the door swings into the closed position. Digestive enzymes are secreted by the surrounding tissue, and prey are digested within several days. If prey are not captured, the trap resets within 30 minutes. When a bladderwort is lifted from the water, on which it floats, there is a fine crackling sound as the trapdoors are triggered. • Passive traps: involves no rapid plant movement o Pitfall traps.  Example: pitcher plants, Sarracenia spp., Darlingtonia californica, Heliamphora spp., Nepenthes spp., bromeliads, and Cephalotus follicularis. 

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Victor D'Souza, Doha QatarTuesday, October 30, 2007
Hard to belive. It is also possible that the cow's tail got stuck to the branch and cow was trying to move away.... and so on.
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Florine Lobo , Bombay - Doha QatarMonday, October 29, 2007
This shows that, someone must have been brutally killed and hanged on the tree, where departed souls desires remain unfullfilled and restless. Just Pray for soul rest in peace and kiss the tree.
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Manmohan K, UppinangadyMonday, October 29, 2007
I strongly believe that this is a bogus story by locals.(Mass histeria??) Maruva,Sarali trees common in this area and no such events reported from the other parts of the region. If Maruva and sarali are animal eaters, that phenomenon must be universal.
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