Had no option but to kill the rogue jumbo, say Bengal forest officials (India)


Press Trust of India

Date Published


Facing severe criticism from all quarters over killing an elephant, West Bengal forest department on Wednesday reasoned that its personnel were left with “no other option” after all attempts to capture the ‘rogue’ jumbo “failed”.

The elephant was killed on Tuesday by forest department officials.

“Our intention had never been to kill the elephant, but to capture it. But since all attempts failed, we had no other option but to hunt it as it was posed a risk to people,” principal secretary, state forest department, Chandan Sinha said.

“On April 29 last year, an elephant that killed a person, injured six others and damaged houses and crops was ordered for hunting by PCCF, Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

“Although the elephant continued with its depredations for a while, it could not be hunted,” he said.

Sinha said the Divisional Forest Officer and Wildlife Warden of Bankura had recently requested extension of the order declaring the elephant as “rouge” as it was “extremely aggressive and turning dangerous for life and property”.

“Initially, efforts were made to capture the elephant. A team of officers headed by the Chief Conservator of Forests, central circle made extensive arrangements for the operation,” Sinha said.

On Monday, the elephant was darted with a tranquilizer but it fled. Since a smaller pachyderm accompanying it charged towards the staff, it was also darted and captured. It has been sent to North Bengal for rehabilitation, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Pradeep Vyas said.