KARNATAKA

‘Toughest’ elephant caught

CORNERED, AT LAST: Captured elephant (with tusks blunt) being pushed into the enclosure at the Dubare Elephant Camp in Kodagu on Saturday.

CORNERED, AT LAST: Captured elephant (with tusks blunt) being pushed into the enclosure at the Dubare Elephant Camp in Kodagu on Saturday.  

Jeevan Chinnappa



The elephant walked 5 km after being darted

It took six kumkis to control it after being captured



DUBARE (KODAGU DISTRICT): A rogue elephant, aged around 28, was captured by the Forest Department team at Jiganehadlu in Dubare Reserve Forest area in Kodagu on Saturday taking the total number of troublesome elephants caught since December 16, 2008, to five.

The elephant, with a slightly deformed hind leg on the left, was so notorious that the residents of Maldare, Avaregunda, Jiganehadlu areas identified it instantly, Range Forest Officer M.S. Chinnappa told The Hindu.

The animal was spotted around 7 a.m. on Saturday, but went into the forests and was spotted at 10.20 a.m. It attacked Abhimanyu, the bravest of the ‘kumkis’ (tamed elephants) while the tranquilising dart was fired at it by darter Venkatesh.

The tusker suffered minor injuries because of its resistance to its capture and fought with the kumkis, Mr. Chinnappa said. Surprisingly, the elephant after being darted walked a few km finally falling after one hour, Nagaraj, veterinarian, accompanying the team said.

Mr. Chinnappa said the animal could have walked at least 5 km after the firing of the dart. Gun shot pellet marks were noticed on the body of the captured tusker.

Residents of Maldare said the animal had killed at least three persons in the area in the last two years.

The elephant resisted attempts by the team to capitulate, but the kumkis Arjuna, Gajendra, Harsha, Abhimanyu, Sri Rama and Vikrama were at hand to control the animal through its six km journey from the spot where it fell. “This was the toughest elephant among the five caught so far,” Mr. Chinnappa said. The other four elephants caught on December 16, 24 and 26 last and January 9, were being kept in the “kraal” (enclosures) made out of huge eucalyptus logs here and being tamed.

One elephant captured on January 6 had died within hours of its darting at Avaregunda. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Bangalore, had issued permission to capture six elephants so far in the district, of which five have been caught.

G.A. Sudarshan, Conservator of Forests, Kodagu Circle, has sought permission from the PCCF to catch four more troublesome elephants in Somwarpet taluk. Mr. Sudarshan told The Hindu that the camp would shift to Somwarpet taluk in Madikeri Division where the last of the six elephants could be caught.

Recommended for you