Dasara elephant Gopalaswami dies after fight with wild tusker in Nagarahole
November 23, 2022
Dasara elephant Gopalaswami, aged around 40, died in Nagarahole on
Wednesday afternoon after sustaining grievous injuries in a fight with a
Describing the events leading to Gopalaswami’s death, Harsha, director,
Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, said that camp elephants are normally allowed to
wander in the jungles and Gopalaswami left the Mathigodu camp on Tuesday
afternoon. He was embroiled in a fight with a wild tusker which was in the
vicinity and though the mahouts and camp attendants tried to separate the
elephants, it was an impossible task. At one point, the mahouts were chased
by the wild tusker, said Mr. Harsha.
Gopalaswami was badly mauled by the wild tusker and its internal organs
were lacerated and gnashed resulting in severe bleeding. It also suffered a
fracture. Though veterinarians treated Gopalaswami, it succumbed to
injuries late in the afternoon on Wednesday.
Gopalaswami was captured in Etturu in Sakaleshpur in 2009. Among the more
majestic elephants who measured 9.35 ft or nearly 2.85 m in height and was
second only to Arjuna (2.95 m), Gopalaswami was a regular in Mysuru Dasara
since 2012. During Dasara 2022, he weighed around 5,500 kg and was among
the strongest of the lot.
Forest Department officials had reposed lot of faith in his abilities to
withstand stress and hence, was a regular in combing operation to capture
tigers straying into human landscape and along with elephant Abhimanyu,
constituted a formidable team.
Given his height and strength, he was projected as a future ‘’Howdah
elephant’’ who could take on the mantle of carrying the golden howdah
during the Jamboo Savari, according to DCF V. Karikalan, who had monitored
him constantly during Dasara.
In 2015, another tusker Srirama, died under similar circumstances in K.
Gudi when it was mauled by fellow Dasara elephant Gajendra.