A tusker met a grisly death while trying to cross over the railway iron fence at the Nagarahole National Park in the early hours of Saturday. The fence was erected as a barrier along parts of the park to prevent elephants from crossing over to human landscape.
The tusker, which was around 42 -years-old, entered human habitation and raided an agricultural field on Friday night. While returning to the Veerahosahalli range of the national park, it tried to cross over the fence and got stuck. It was unable to extricate itself from the precarious position.
Conservator of Forests and Director of Nagarahole National Park K.M. Narayanaswamy told The Hindu that an examination of the site indicated that the elephant tried to heave itself out of the situation but its diaphragm was crushed by its own weight and died around 5 a.m.
The Forest Department envisaged the erection of the fence for 33 km in the first stage along different stretches of the national park bordering human landscape as a solution to mitigate man-animal conflict.
A budgetary allocation of nearly ₹212 crore was made for it in 2015 by the Karnataka government and is still being implemented. But the project is not without criticism. There have been reports of elephants crossing over the fence. Sub-adults and calves are known to have squeezed themselves between the gap to cross to the other side. Critics have raised questions about its efficacy to curb conflicts.