Bengaluru: The wild elephant captured on Sunday in Magadi taluk is indeed ‘Rowdy’ Ranga, forest department officials confirmed in private a day later.
Now, a royal future appears to be awaiting Ranga, which earned the prefix ‘Rowdy’ after it began leading a herd of 8 to 12 elephants that was causing panic in the region between Bannerghatta and Tumakuru. If all goes as per forest department plans, Ranga may join the trained elephant troupe that carries the golden howdah and performs other rituals during Dasara festivities in Mysuru.
Sources in the forest department said Ranga is now confined to a kraal, made specially to tame the captured wild elephants, near Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP). “It will take some time for the wild jumbo to adjust to the camp atmosphere. For now, we don’t plan to release it to any other forest reserve, as the elephant has a history of getting into conflict with humans. We may train it for some time and send it to a camp in Kodagu or Chamarajnagara, where it can be trained to participate in Dasara festivities,” they added.
The 40-year-old bull elephant was captured by foresters in Bantarakuppe of Magadi taluk on Sunday afternoon. Unlike the other two elephants, which had been captured last week and relocated to Bandipur forests, Ranga was sent to the camp in Bannerghatta.
Meanwhile, wildlife lovers and environmentalists who were campaigning against the idea of keeping Ranga in camps are planning to meet top forest official in this regard. Rakshit Gowda, wildlife enthusiast and founder of FB page, Save Ranga: The elephant, said Ranga is born wild and the department should free him. “We say no to captivity of elephants,” he said.