Tusker ‘Silver Monstra’ to be captured by Forest Department in Gudalur, taken to elephant camp

The elephant, Silver Monstra   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A 30-year-old tusker, known to local Forest Department officials as OVT-3 or ‘Silver Monstra’ is to be captured by the Forest Department and taken to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in the coming days.

The elephant, which had sustained an injury to the tail region a few years ago due to a fight with another elephant, has been treated periodically by the Forest Department since the wound was first noticed.

Kommu Omkaram, District Forest Officer, Gudalur Division, said that the animal was given oral medication, including antibiotics stuffed into its favourite fruits over the last few years. “There was some improvement, but the wound has gotten bigger because the elephant rubs the wound on hard surfaces, causing the it to open up and fester,” said Mr. Omkaram.

After pictures of the elephant began circulating on social media, animal rights activists began calling on the Forest Department to adopt a more direct approach to treating the animal.

K.K. Kaushal, Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), where Silver Monstra will be taken after his capture to the Theppakadu Elephant Camp, said that veterinarians were of the opinion that the elephant would need to be captured and restrained for any treatment to be effective.

“Once an animal spends any considerable amount of time inside a kraal (elephant shelter), it is almost impossible to return it to the wild, so it will be made a captive elephant,” said Mr. Kaushal.

Two kumkis from Theppakadu are to be used in the capture operation which will commence once the kraal is readied.

If the elephant is successfully captured, Silver Monstra would become the 29th captive elephant in Theppakadu.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 5:36:47 AM |

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