‘Elephants respond in this manner when they sense danger’
A man who ventured too close to an elephant herd while trying to take a photo in the Bandipur National Park was chased by a sub-adult elephant recently.
The chase was captured in the camera by Kulbhushan Singh Suryawanshi of Mysore who was travelling on the national highway that passes through the park.
B.R. Praveen, founder trustee of Vanya, an organisation that works on conservation and wildlife issues, said the incident took place three or four days ago, and luckily, it was a sub-adult elephant and not the matriarch or any other adult that charged at the man who threw caution to the winds and ventured too close to the herd.
Expressing dismay over the attitude of the public towards wildlife in general, Mr. Praveen said it would be a delusion to assume that people would learn a lesson from the recent incident near Bangalore where a photojournalist was killed by an elephant when he tried to get close to a herd to get a picture.
“It is a general behaviour of any elephant to respond in this manner when it senses danger to itself or its herd,” he added.
Though the Department of Forests has put up signboards all along the highways passing through Bandipur, instructing tourists to maintain a safe distance from wild animals and not to provoke them, people have been ignoring them.
“How can the department, already short staffed, take steps to curb such actions by tourists? It also raises a question whether it is necessary for highways to pass through national parks and critical wildlife habitats,” questioned Mr. Praveen.