H.D. Kote: While wildlife lovers and those who frequent Kabini and Nagarahole will miss tusker Bhogeshwara who was the longest-tusked elephant in Asia, here is some good news to cheer. A ‘Junior Bhogeshwara’ has been sighted in Kabini and is set to take over the pride of place occupied by Bhogeshwara who passed away two days back.
Bhogeshwara was lovingly called Mr. Kabini as he used to give very good photo-op to the wildlife photographers and filmmakers and its majestic walk with 8.46-ft tusks had mesmerised many. There are hundreds of photos, videos and stories online to prove this point.
The Junior Bhogeshwara has made its presence felt near the Sunset point at Masthigudi in the Kabini backwaters that come under Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. Seeing the tusks that are similar to the senior Bhogeshwara, the tourists have named him Junior Bhogeshwara.
Though the tusks are not as long as that of the late senior elephant, Junior’s tusks have a similar U shape. If the tusks grow further, they will cross each other like in the case of Bhogeshwara.
As it is the elephants in the wild, the Forest Department does not have the practice of naming the elephants. Even the names Bhogeshwara, Mr. Kabini and now Junior Bhogeshwara are given by tourists and photographers.
Department sources said that there are at least five to six giant elephants that have long tusks in Kabini backwaters. But senior Bhogeshwara’s tusks had crossed each other and were touching the ground and this had made the elephant unique, sources added.
Wildlife photographer Satish B. Aradhya said that though the demise of Bhogeshwara had saddened thousands of his fans, the sighting of Junior Bhogeshwara has rought some solace.