Krishnagiri: Perhaps all’s well that ends well for a lone tusker that got separated from its family during an elephant chase in neighbouring Karnataka more than 18 days ago.
It had strayed into the compound of a private company, 7 km from Krishnagiri, on the Chennai-Bengaluru national highway, and was on Saturday released in the Jawalagiri reserve forest, the forest officials aiming to thus reunite it with its kin.
It first stayed in the Ramachandara RF in Mallur taluk and later entered Hosur, still on its hunt for its family. The forest officials captured it after many unsuccessful attempts.
“The tusker was trapped after being tranquilised by experts, an operation that began during the early hours and continued for more than five hours,” said A.K.Ulaganathan, Krishnagiri district forest officer.
According to Ulaganathan, “The tusker was tranquilised, using a mixture of two drugs, including ketamine. N. S. Manoharan, a vet, shot the dart with a tranquiliser gun from a distance of 15 m from the place where the elephant was found inside a private company’s premises.”
The task to tranquilise the jumbo began on Friday; two darts were shot before the animal was trapped, using the services of kumki elephants. But the animal was let free after it locked horns with the trained elephants on Friday night.
The forest officials, realising the danger that was looming large, removed the kumkis from the place to save the wild elephant from being killed by the trained ones.
They recaptured the tusker on Saturday, this requiring another round of tranquiliser shots. The task to recapture it began early on Saturday.
Vets used three darts, shooting these at varying intervals. The animal came under their control after the third dart. Trained elephant catchers then tied a rope around its neck to keep the animal in check. It was then forced to enter a lorry through use of a crane and earthmovers.
The captured jumbo was then released in the forest.