The jumbos make a delightful spectacle for the visitors to Dalma in the summer. This year the pachyderms are likely to enter the sanctuary by the first week of May. “Several elephants gave birth during this season which delayed their visit to the sanctuary,” said Dalma forest ranger, Mangal Kachap.
The forest official said calves can travel 3km on an average each day and the parents have to slow down to stay with their babies in the entire course of the travel. “They have to cover over 300 km from Bankura, Midanpore and adjoining jungle areas in Bengal and Odisha to reach the sanctuary. It is not possible to travel longer distances on each day with the baby elephants,” said the forester.
In 2012 and 2013, elephant herds from the two neighbouring states travelled to Dalma sanctuary sometime between the end of February and middle of March. “Normally elephant herds arrive here between the last week of February and the third week of March but on certain occasions when the newborns become a part of the group the travel time gets delayed,” said the forester.
He hoped that at least three to four calves will be part of the elephants’ group expected to arrive here in the next couple of weeks. “At present, over 25 elephants are wandering in the sanctuary and another about 50 will join those by mid-May,” Kachap said. The Dalma range forest department has made adequate water arrangements for the visitors. The Dalma sanctuary has about 60 water bodies including natural water holes and 44 artificial reservoirs.