By G.S. Kumar
BANGALORE: An adult elephant, which killed two persons in the Dandeli forest in April, was captured in Kumbeli village on Friday evening after a 12-day operation involving nearly 50 forest staff and five tame elephants from Mysore and Sakrebailu elephant camp in Shimoga.
Srinivasulu, director, Dandeli and Anshi Forest Reserve, told STOI from Dandeli on Saturday that the elephant had trampled to death one person in Amboli village on April 7 and another in Avurli village on April 23. "We decided to capture as it was a threat to local people and property and villagers were afraid when it would attack them.''
The elephant, aged around 45 years and over 9.5ft tall, was deep in the forest. "The operation to capture the elephant started 12 days ago. We brought one tamed elephant called Sagar, 64, from Sakrebailu and four elephants -Balarama, Sreerama, Abhimanyu and Gajendra -from Mysore. The elephant was tranquillised and captured,'' Srinivasulu said.
P R Manjunath, range forest officer, Anshi Wildlife Range, said, "The elephant is being taken in special cage in a truck to the Sakrebailu elephant camp. It's being followed by five elephants in five trucks. The elephants are accompanied by RFOs KG Prakash and Santhosh Chavan and veterinarians Dr DN Nagaraj and Dr Sujay. The journey began around 2pm Saturday.''
Dr Nagaraj said it's one of the biggest elephants captured in recent times. "In February, we captured an elephant which was 9.5ft tall in Humbli Betta forest in Hassan. But this elephant is taller as well as healthy,'' he said.