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Jumbo patrol for Corbett

9 trained elephants from Karnataka will go to the tiger reserve in Uttarakhand

February 19, 2017 03:04 am | Updated 03:06 am IST - MYSURU

Elephant country:  Karnataka has 126 elephants in camps and nine are to be sent to the  Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

Elephant country: Karnataka has 126 elephants in camps and nine are to be sent to the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

The giants from the forest camps of Nagarahole in Karnataka’s dry plains are ready for the long journey to Jim Corbett National Park, in the Himalayan foothills, where they will form an elite patrol group.

They are nine trained elephants, set to aid in combing operations in the tiger reserve around the park.

Their relocation comes after a request was made by the Uttarakhand Government to Karnataka two years ago.

The identification of elephants, assessment of their health and obtaining clearance from the Centre took almost two years. The convoy is expected to be flagged off next week.

Two drop-outs

Out of 11 elephants chosen initially, two have been dropped on health grounds, said Mr. Dilip Kumar Das, Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Project Elephant, Karnataka.

The elephants will travel 2,400 km, in a truck convoy, carrying fodder and tankers with water, through Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and on to Uttarakhand.

“En route, we will stop every 300 km for rest,” said Mr. Das. The elephants will be accompanied by mahouts and kavadis or assistants who will stay in Uttarakhand for a few months till the elephants get acclimatised. Personnel from the hill State are already in Karnataka, living in the elephant camps.

Tunga (15 years old) and her calf (1.8), Karna (6), Bheeshma (9), Gajaraja (10), Kenchamba (20), Shivagange (25), Kapila (32) and her calf (1.8) made it to the list.

Of the nine elephants, Karna, Bheeshma and Gajaraja are males. Two other elephants which were initially selected – Maneka and Madakari – have been dropped on health grounds.

The patrol members are now housed in jungle camps at Mattigodu, Doddaharvey and Dubare – all located around Nagarahole, one of the best-known reserves in the South.

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