Kunkis drive wild tusker out of Nandankanan (India)


Times of India

Date Published
BHUBANESWAR: The wild tusker that strayed into Nandankanan zoo on December 31, 2014, by breaking the boundary wall was driven out by the two kunki elephants of Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday.
Chandaka authorities said the kunki elephants, Jashoda and Nanda, were deployed within four days of the jumbo entering the zoo.
The kunkis are trained to tame wild elephants. “Jashoda and Nanda walked back into the sanctuary after finishing their job,” said divisional forest officer, Chandaka wildlife sanctuary, Manoj Mohapatra.
The guest injured three elephants in the zoo. Authorities said the tusker stepped out of Chandaka sanctuary in search of food. “Since it is difficult to monitor elephants from a close range and tame them, we engaged the kunkis,” said a zoo officer.
In another incident, a vast stretch of forest in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) caught fire on Tuesday prompting authorities to engage fire watchers in the affected areas to check the flames from spreading.
“We are monitoring the situation. At present, we have reports of only dry leaves catching fire,” said STR field director H K Bisht, adding, “The fire has not spread to the trees”. “The fire seems to be the handiwork of some mischievous villagers. We are keeping a watch,” he said.