Baahubali remains in forest as Forest Dept. starts radio-collaring operation

Forest Department staff involved in the operation to tranquillise wild elephant Baahubali carrying a radio collar to a village near Mettupalayam on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

Baahubali, a tusker known for its routine of entering villages near Mettupalayam, remained inside forest on Sunday as the Forest Department started efforts to tranquillise the animal and radio-collar it for study purposes.

The tusker was located inside Odanthurai reserve forest area, around three km off the Forest Department timber depot on the Mettupalayam – Kotagiri road, when the Department halted the operation for the day on Sunday evening.

After not showing up for two days, the tusker, aged around 35-40 years, was spotted on the peripheries of the forest areas of Sirumugai forest range near Vedar Colony on Saturday night.

Multiple teams of frontline staff and five veterinarians waited at different locations, expecting the elephant to come out of the forest. However, the tusker limited its movement within the forest.

District Forest Officer D. Venkatesh told journalists that the frontline staff were tracking the tusker with utmost caution as other elephants were also moving inside the forest.

“It is a very active and clever elephant,” said Mr. Venkatesh about Baahubali, pointing out that it did not cross the Kotagiri road to enter Mettupalayam forest range limits after the arrival of kumkis at the timber depot for the operation a few days ago. The elephant used to cross the road before the arrival of kumkis.

“It might have sensed the presence of the kumkis through smell,” he said.

According to him, use of drone to track the elephant was not practical on the terrain which is dense with thorny bushes and trees. He said that the operation will continue on Monday.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:49:17 PM |

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