A Bihar forest team led by the Hyderabadi shikari, Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, saved a village in Bihar, driving away a herd of 14 rampaging wild elephants in the wee hours of Sunday. The herd strayed into Budhva village in Aurangabad district triggering panic among the villagers.
The herd of elephants had crossed over to Bihar from the Jharkhand-Nepal border on January 20. The herd has already killed three persons, razing mud houses and causing extensive damage to crops including sugarcane and maize.
Traffic on the Delhi-Kolkata Grand Trunk road was stopped from 2 am to 3 am for chasing away the elephants across the road into the forest. However, a male calf aged about seven years couldn’t keep pace with the herd because of an injury in its hind leg. As the calf stayed behind, it was tranquillised by Khan and shifted to the elephant rescue centre in Gaya. The Forest Department had brought a 12-member expert team from West Bengal to drive away the elephants. But when their efforts failed, the services of Khan were requisitioned to handle the situation. A three-member team comprising Chief Wildlife Warden, S S Chowdhary, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest, S K Singh and Khan was constituted to drive away the pachyderms.
Last month he had killed a rogue elephant that triggered panic in Purnia and Araria districts of Bihar.
Early on Sunday, a 200 member strong Forest department team carried out the operation and drove elephants into the forest. Crackers were burst to chase away the wild beasts.