Elephant Task Force personnel, foresters rescue tusker in Kodagu's
Lawrence Milton, Times of India
March 8, 2023
After Bandipur officials successfully saved the life of an elephant that
was electrocuted in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the second week of February,
Kodagu foresters comprising the Elephant Task Force personnel have saved a
tusker by treating it inside the forest.
It had sustained punctured wounds in its hip region in an attack by another
tusker. The wound was infected following pus formation. The daring effort
of the Kodagu wildlife forest team with help of veterinarians has saved the
tusker's life. The elephant is on the path to recovery and is hale and
hearty, according to the foresters.
Deputy conservator of forests (wildlife) Kodagu, Sivarambabu said that a
25-year-old tusker was found injured, supposedly in a fight with another
tusker a week ago near Makutta wildlife range, Brahmagiri wildlife
sanctuary. "Our forest watchers attached to Kokka anti-poaching camp
noticed the injury and informed senior officers on February 27.
We immediately consulted wildlife veterinarians and decided to treat the
injured elephant," he said.
Sivarambabu said, four elephants - Bheema, Ganesh and Mahendra from the
Mathigod elephant camp - were roped in for the rescue operation. First, it
was tracked, darted with tranquilizers, and treated in standing sedation by
cleaning the wound. Pus was removed from the wound. He was given
antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and painkillers before he was
released back into Makutta forests.
A team of veterinarians Dr Chittiappa and Dr Prashanth from Mysuru Zoo,
DRFO Ranjan, Makutta range staff, Elephant Task Force teams did great work
in saving the tusker. Sivarambabu said the tusker was injured by another
tusker during a fight. A total of 50 staffers and four elephants were part
of this operation.
On the process, Sivarambabu said treating the elephant in standing sedation
was challenging. "With the support of other tamed tuskers, we cleaned the
wounds after injecting medicines. Treatment was planned and executed in one
day. After the elephant was traced, we completed the treatment in one hour.
The elephant's movement in
the wild is being monitored," he said.
Voice for Wildlife Trust Managing trustee KS Sudheer, an advocate, said
infighting of animals and injuring one another is part of nature. "We
shouldn't interfere with the activities of nature unless something happens
due to human interference. Showing emotion about wildlife and its actions
in protected areas is not necessary," he said.
Veterinarian Dr DN Nagaraj, who has taken care of Dasara elephants for over
a decade, said treating injured elephants in the wild is like giving them
another life. If the wound is deep, beyond one and one-and-half feet, its
survival is difficult. Kodagu foresters have done appreciable work, he
said. Nagaraj is the assistant director of Sheep and Wool Development