Forest department, Dasara jumbos wait to capture 8 elephants (Bengaluru, India)


Rohith B R, Times of India

Date Published

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Over 100 forest department personnel, 30 veterinarians, five trained elephants and their mahouts are camping in the forests of Nelamangala, off Tumakuru Road. Their mission: To capture about eight wild elephants that have found themselves in conflict situations with humans in the stretch between Bannerghatta National Parkand Tumakuru. Five trained elephants have been brought from Mysuru, Dubare and Madikeri camps, including those which participated in Dasara celebrations. Among the camp elephants are Abhimanyu, Gajendra, Bheema, Harsha and Krishna.
Speaking to TOI, D Manjunath, deputy conservator of forests, Ramanagara, said they tried to capture two to three wild elephants near Veerasagara of Sompura in Nelamangala, but failed. “The elephants have moved further inward and are most likely in Veerapura village of Magadi taluk. We are planning to tranquilize them on Tuesday and shift them to elephant camps,” he added.

Forest officials from Hoskote, Doddaballapur, Ramanagara and Magadi ranges have been roped in for the jumbo exercise, a major one in recent times. A few years ago, a similar operation was conducted at Alur of Hassan district, during which some 25 elephants were captured and relocated. A senior forest official said they have instructed farmers and other villagers not to venture out of their homes whenever they get an alert from the forest department. This is to ensure the operation is smooth. “We have also told farmers not to leave their cattle for grazing,” he added.

The human-elephant conflict in the region is growing into a major concern for the forest department. Earlier this year, a villager and a forest watcher were trampled to death by elephants in Ramanagara district. Villagers in Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara and Tumakuru districts have staged several protests because of the crop losses they suffered due to elephants ruining their fields. For the jumbos too, the area is becoming increasingly dangerous, with three of them found dead in the last 15 days.