Injured elephant a concern for villagers, Forest dept (Magadi India)


Deccan Herald

Date Published


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The forest department is having a tough time trying to ensure that a lone injured tusker that has been limping around villages near Magadi, returns to forests of Savandurga or Bannerghatta National Park.

The tusker, aged around 35 years, popularly known as Sidda, has been a regular sight to locals around Manchanbelle dam, Ramohalli and Chikkanahalli villages. Villagers, who used to be angry because of his presence, feel sad seeing his plight.

According to veterinarians and forest department officials, the tusker has fractured its right fore leg. His leg is swollen and he takes a whole day to walk four kilometres. A team of 35 forest watchers and guards are protecting the animal.

“Sidda was sighted three days back in Ramohalli village in Kanakapura forest range. He had slipped into a newly constructed, five-foot trench in Doddanna Layout in Ramohalli. He struggled to come out and was limping. We attracted him with a bunch of bananas laced with medicines to capture him. But it did not work. Then a team of veterinarians from Nagarahole Tiger Reserve and Bannerghatta Biological Zoo led by veterinarian Dr Umashankar of Hunsur, tranquallised the animal and treated his leg,” said a forest official who is in charge of monitoring it.

Apart from the fractured leg, Sidda’s trunk is injured, his tail is smaller than normal size and he also has injuries on his stomach.  On Thursday evening, Sidda was seen resting near Chikkanahalli rock, towards Savanadurga on the Manchanbele elephant corridor.

The incident has created a divide in the forest department. While the field staff and veterinarians demand Sidda be captured, higher-ups are going by the “survival of the fittest” principle.

“Kumki elephants, which helped capture 15 rogue elephants in Hassan, could have been pressed into operation here. They are a team of four tuskers, headed by Dasara elephant Arjun, and are experts in controlling and taming rouge and wild tuskers. But they are busy with Dasara festivities and the department does to have a cage to capture a tusker weighing around five tonnes,” said a forest official.

B J Hosmath, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) told DH that after studying the situation, it was decided to let nature take its course.