Tusker falls into pit in Kodagu, trench dug to rescue
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Tusker falls into pit in Kodagu, trench dug to rescue

May 19, 2021

Kushalnagar: A wild elephant which strayed into a village near Siddapura in Kodagu District and fell into an elephant trench was rescued by the Forest Department staff yesterday morning. The elephant was stuck for four hours before a trench-like passage was dug to get it out and save it from the deep pit and to drive it away to the forest.

Visuals showed the distressed elephant making considerable effort for the initial climb out as the locals clapped and cheered it on. The incident happened at Avaregundi village near Karadigodu between Maldare and Virajpet near a reserve forest area. The elephant had fallen into the trench as it tried to enter the village 

The tusker, aged about 24 years, was either part of a group of jumbos that had roamed into the forest area or a loner that had reached Avaregunda, part of a routine migratory route along the elephant corridor. The tusker, however, ventured close to a human habitation and fell into the trench that was dug by the Forest Department to prevent elephants from raiding villages in search of food. 

Following an alert by the villagers that the tusker had fallen into the trench, Department officials rushed to the spot at 9 am and had taken a backhoe (JCB in common parlance) to dig the trench even as the elephant was trumpeting from the ditch. “We used a JCB to dig something like a trench, so the elephant could move out, Virajpet Circle Range Forest Officer Devaiah told Star of Mysore this morning. 

“The elephant trench was deep and the tusker was likely to sustain injuries as it was protruding its trunk as if to reach out. Soon after the trench was dug, the elephant tried to climb but in vain and our JCB operator had to push the elephant up the trench,” Devaiah said. Moreover, the trench was very narrow giving the tusker little wriggle room to escape. 

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Videos of the rescue operation showed that the exhausted elephant falling off and struggling to get up. Finally the tusker was literally pushed up the trench and even the tusker mustered some strength to get out.  Probably disturbed by the sound of the backhoe and seeing a lot of humans around it, the tusker soon after getting out, attacked the JCB and banged its tusks against the backhoe loader — a metal shovel/bucket on the machine’s back. 

In a fit of rage, the tusker repeatedly pushed the backhoe loader while the JCB operator was trying to scare it away. Even the people gathered there were shouting to scare the pachyderm. The tusker, however, did not budge. To save the JCB operator and the people gathered around, The Department staff then burst crackers and hearing the loud sound, the tusker ran into the woods, trumpeting. 

Virajpet Circle Assistant Conservator of Forests Roshni, forest staff Sanchith Somaiah, Mohanraj from Police Department and others were present. 

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