Tamed for six months, Ranga will now join an elephant camp (Karnataka, India)


The New Indian Express

Date Published
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BENGALURU: Ranga, the 50-year-old lone tusker, who once roamed from Bengaluru to Magadi to Tumakuru, will soon join one of the elephant camps in the state. He was captured last December and relocated to Bannerghatta. He was part of a group of male elephants, which were found raiding crops and entering villages in these regions.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Anur Reddy told Express that Ranga will be shifted to one of the elephant camps either in Dubare or Doddaharave.

He added, “He is being domesticated and it will take some time for training. Maybe in a few days or weeks, depending on his condition, he will be shifted to one of the elephant camps. He has been following commands and it is too early to say whether he will be part of the Dasara group as training takes a lot of time. In fact, we have to wait a couple of years to see whether he can be taken up for this activity.”

There is no going back to the wild for this majestic tusker that had made the outskirts of Bengaluru and Magadi his home for many years foraging food and water. After a free and active life in the wild, Ranga was kept in a kraal for almost six months, tamed and domesticated to lead a captive life.

Ranga has lost his wild instincts and is listening to commands, says Javed Mumtaz, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bannerghatta National Park. “In another two or three days, he will be taken out to the forest area. On Thursday, he was out of the kraal and was walking around the park area, assisted by two other elephants. The last 5-6 months, it was a worrying time as he was very aggressive and yet to adjust to a life in captivity.”

The tamed animal is taking normal food and forest officials say that he is a voracious eater. He has become docile now and more used to people. With an online campaign for his release in the wild by many animal lovers, the news is disturbing as Ranga will never go back to the wild. The PCCF added, “No going back to the wild, he will be trained and that will take a few years.”

Ranga was captured near Savandurga forests in Magadi taluk and relocated to Bannerghatta, where he was kept under the care of BNP authorities. A majestic animal with strong tusks, Ranga was known to traverse on his own, roaming non-traditional paths from Bannerghatta to Tumakuru for eight months while returning home for four months to mate with captive elephants at Bannerghatta.