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The operation commenced around 6 a.m., and the elephant was sighted and recognised at 10 a.m. at Bhootanakaadu in Kushalnagar forest division. The Forest Department staff included RFO Chinnappa veterinarian Dr. Umashankar and were assisted by gentle giants from the various jungle camps who participate in the Mysuru Dasara on a regular basis.
The team led by ‘howdah’ elephant Arjuna included Abhimanyu, Krishna, Harsha, Vikrama, and Prashanth and the lone ranger was surrounded and tranquilised, according to Dr. Umashankar.
The elephant put up a fight but the impact of the tranquiliser took effect and the animal which seemed to lose its orientation became subdued before it fell following which the tusker was tethered and loaded onto the truck. Once on its feet, the elephant again offered resistance but was goaded to the truck by Abhimanyu and company.
The entire operation was over by noon after which it was shifted to the Dubare elephant camp. The elephant is aged around 35 and has one tusk. This elephant was part of a herd that recently went berserk in Kodagu and killed a couple of persons, following which permission was sought to identify and capture the individual tuskers leading the herd, according to Mr. Chinnappa. However, it is not the same elephant which had trampled a plantation worker near Bhootanakaadu village on Wednesday where the victim — Ameena — died on the spot owing to injuries which led to tension in the area with a flash protest staged by local residents. “That elephant had double tusks,” said Mr. Chinnappa. “It will be tamed under the watchful eyes of the mahouts and will be assisted by the camp elephants in the process and may take three to four months,” said Mr. Kantharaj.