- It is the tallest elephant captured in Kodagu
- Released at Moolehole Range in Bandipur
Virajpet: A wild tusker, which had killed a man and attempted to damage vehicles besides causing panic among villagers since four months has been finally captured. The pachyderm was released yesterday midnight at Moolehole Range in Bandipur Tiger Reserve on instructions from senior Forest officials.
The wild tusker, which was spotted at Kuttanda Forest in Virajpet Range of Nagarahole Reserve Forest in Virajpet taluk, had created panic among the villagers since four months. Following instructions from senior Forest officials, a team of more than 100 forest staff, who conducted an operation on Saturday, have successfully captured the wild tusker yesterday.
On July 4, the wild tusker had attacked tribal Saacha of Yarur tribal hamlet and had killed him. This wild elephant was also frequently spotted at villages in forest border and was attempting to attack moving vehicles. It had also attacked an autorickshaw at Kaikeri and had damaged it which had resulted in villagers of Hosur, Kalathmad, Kaikeri and surrounding villages living in fear. The villagers had demanded the Forest Department to capture the wild tusker and release it elsewhere.
Following an order from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), the Forest staff made frequent attempts to drive back the wild tusker to the forest, but the elephant, which did not move from the spot had stayed put causing a headache to villagers. Senior Forest officials, who took the issue seriously, ordered the capture of the wild tusker and relocate it. Following instructions, the Forest staff led by Kodagu Circle CCF T. Heeralal, began the operation to capture the wild elephant with the help of locals and came to know that the wild tusker was near Ayyappa Devarakadu near Devarapura village in Thithimathi Range.
The Forest officials immediately summoned elephants Arjuna from Balle Elephant Camp, Krishna, Ganesh and Gopalaswamy from Mathigodu and Harsha from Dubare Elephant Camp and commenced the operation on Saturday. Yesterday afternoon, sharp shooter Akram was successful in tranquilising the elephant. But the wild elephant began to charge on tamed elephants.
As there was more than 100 Forest staff present at the spot, the wild elephant moved towards coffee estates and later, with the help of tamed elephants the wild tusker was captured by tying huge ropes around it. After medication and rest, the wild tusker was released into Bandipur Tiger Reserve yesterday midnight.
Virajpet Division Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Roshni, Probationary ACF Malini, Veterinarian Dr. Mujeeb, Range Forest Officer (RFO) Kallira Devaiah, Deputy Range Forest Officers (DRFOs) Manoj, Sanjith, Uthappa and staff of RRT from Ammathi and Virajpet took part in the operation.
At 9.2 ft, it is taller than Howdah elephant Abhimanyu
The wild tusker that was captured yesterday is the tallest tusker captured in Kodagu so far. More than 30 wild elephants have been captured in Kodagu since 10 years and this tusker is the tallest. It is aged between 35 and 40 years and is 9.2 ft. tall. Abhimanyu, who is tasked to carry the Golden Howdah at the Jumboo Savari this year, is 8.79 ft. (2.68 mts) tall.