Two elephant deaths were reported outside Bandipur National Park on Wednesday underlining the escalation of man-animal conflict around the forests in the region.
While one elephant - part of a herd which came in search of fodder - was shot dead by a farmer, the other elephant was found dead near Gundlupet. The post-mortem of both the elephants were conducted on Thursday.
In case of the elephant found shot dead at Doddambaragi village in Hediyala range outside the Bandipur forests, the post-mortem report stated that one of the bullets pierced through the eye of the elephant. The other bullet was found lodged in its brain. Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Bandipur, R. Raju said the elephant was shot from point-blank range and the animal died on the spot.
“What is disconcerting is that it is the first case of an elephant being shot dead by farmers. Though such cases are reported from the neighbouring district of Kodagu, farmers never used gun to shoot at elephants and this is a disturbing development,” said Mr. Raju. The accused, Madashetty, is absconding and a police complaint has been filed in this connection.
Incidentally, there have been nine elephant deaths so far on the periphery of Bandipur National Park this year alone. While eight were electrocuted, one elephant which came in search of fodder chewed a banana stem, but the explosives camouflaged inside the banana stem - another dangerous practice deployed by farmers living on the periphery of forests to ward of wild animals - triggered off killing the pachyderm. It suffered severe laceration and the trunk and the jaws were blown to smithereens and the elephant died a grisly and a painful death.
The second elephant which died in Gundlupet taluk outside the periphery of the Kollegal forest range had apparently been electrocuted.