The operation to drive back the herd of 13 elephants that had killed four people over the weekend ended successfully on Tuesday morning after the Forest Department shepherded the herd into the Hosur range forests at Devarghatta in Tamil Nadu.
At 2 a.m., the herd managed to cross the Hosur-Bangalore National Highway 7, even as trackers and two trained elephants, Abhimanyu and Arjuna, ensured the elephants stayed on their path.
Two attempts to drive the elephants out of Anekal — where they had injured two persons — failed on Monday as the animals could not cross the NH7 where traffic sped and crowds had gathered to watch.
“Even after we controlled the traffic, large groups of people using flashlights made the elephants disoriented and they turned away,” said a Forest Department official. It was only at 2 a.m., when crowds and vehicles thinned, that the elephants managed to cross the highway, and eventually entered the Hosur forest.
The condition of A. Shyam (32), who was grievously injured during an attack and is admitted to the St John's Hospital, is improving. George D’ Souza, Chief Medical Officer at the hospital, said his condition was better than Monday.
His brother, A. Nagesh, said that they had lodged a police complaint at the Sarjapura police station about the elephant attack. He said that the family found it difficult to bear the treatment cost. “We have already spent Rs. 40,000, doctors have told us that we will have to spend more. We will not be able to afford so much money.” Meanwhile, schools in and around the Whitefield-Sarjapur Road that remained closed on Monday after the intrusion of elephants functioned on Tuesday.
Varsha Saxena, Administration and Finance Manager at Inventure Academy, where the elephants entered the campus on Monday, said they were back at work. Nooraine Fazal, chief executive officer and co-founder said: “We checked news regularly and were in contact with the Forest Department to see if the threat had passed.”
A student from the school, Keya Viswanathan, said: “We were told that the elephants were not around anymore so we all went through our day as usual as though there was never a problem.”
Aloysius D’Mello, principal of Greenwood High School, said that they informed students about the precautionary measures they should take during such instances.