By R. Krishna Kumar
Abhimanyu, Srirama, Vikrama, Gajendra will prepare for more strenuous activities in the days ahead
Having shored up the Mysore Dasara with their impeccable performance during the Jamboo Savari which concluded on Saturday, a few of the gentle giants from the jungle camp will be on standby for more strenuous tasks in the days ahead.
For, these elephants have a formidable reputation of subduing counterparts who stray into human landscape and driving them back into the wild. They are in much demand by the Forest Department who use them to capture the so-called ‘rogue elephants’. Abhimanyu, Srirama, Vikrama, Gajendra are past-masters who go about their job with composure despite the mayhem surrounding them. When a herd of elephants stayed put at Kolar in June last year, it sent shiver down the spines of the locals and officials who feared another round of conflict. But Abhimanyu and company led the counter attack to drive the wild herd back to the jungle. Later, they were on an overdrive capturing stray elephants on the rampage in Hassan district.
Veterinarian Nagaraj, who is in-charge of the elephants’ welfare during their annual sojourn in Mysore, told The Hindu that Abhimanyu, Srirama, Gajendra and Vikrama are fit to take on such operations and their assistance may be sought in the future as well. “But at present, they have the task of taming the 13 wild elephants that were captured in Hassan district and are in captivity at different camps, including Dubare and Mathigodu,” he said.
Heroic talesIncidentally, Abhimanyu, Gajendra, Srirama and Arjuna have covered themselves with glory in central India as well after they pulled-off a spectacular victory in what was deemed to be a mission impossible.
A herd of elephants had created havoc in the undivided Madhya Pradesh and scores of people had died in the Surguja region in Chhattisgarh in the mid-1990s. Arjuna was in the prime of his youth and had a penchant to take on challenges.
Along with Abhimanyu, who is known for his no-nonsense approach in carrying out the tasks ordained to him, Arjuna subdued the opponents within a month with help from Gajendra and Srirama. Mission accomplished, the quartet returned triumphantly to the State having scripted glory in the dense jungles of central India. The elephants are being rested at the Mysore palace grounds after 45 days of Dasara duty. Plans are to take them to their respective jungle camps during the week after which some of them will disperse for more strenuous tasks.