The wild elephant, which trampled six persons to death and seriously injured four others in Sitamarhi and Madhubani districts of Bihar over the last two days, returned to its natural habitat in Nepal during the wee hours today.
Additional Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) S S Chaudhari said, “We successfully managed to send the wild tusker back to Nepal. It crossed the Royal Canal at the international border near Jainagar in Madhubani district at around 2.30 AM. We verified this with its footprints.”
The elephant had strayed from its herd based at Parsa Wildlife Sanctuary in the neighbouring country during the ongoing mating season, after perhaps losing in a fight with some other tusker and entered Sitamarhi district on Tuesday last.
It trampled four persons to death in Sitamarhi and entered Madhubani district yesterday, where it crushed two others.
“Environment and forest department Principal Secretary Vivek Kumar Singh led our teams, while the district administration of Sitamarhi and Madhubani also cooperated in our efforts to drive away the tusker,” Chaudhary said.
“Two attempts to tranquilise the animal by shooting medicine-laced darts were unsuccessful. The elephant just calmed down for a few minutes and then again started moving helter-skelter. Finally, the police fired a bullet at one of its legs,” he added.
The CWW said it was not clear whether the bullet hit the tusker’s leg or not, but soon after that it crossed over to Nepal.
Chaudhary said the wild tusker would have peacefully returned to its habitat, had the villagers not disturbed it by creating noise and chasing it.