The wild amorous tusker from Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of the Odisha capital, who broke in to Nandankanan Biological Park of Bhubaneswar last night and attacked captive cow elephants, was tranquillized this morning.
The tusker returned last night to Nandankanan zoo once again to mate with his love ‘Heera’, a she elephant of the famed zoo.
The tusker, enraged by the snarling of other resident elephants and zoo staffers, wreaked havoc this time. It attacked Laxmi, another elephant and injured her ears, broke the elephant zone gate and the barricade of zebra enclosure no-34 and attempted to break the wired gate of the zebra enclosure while moving through the white tiger safari.
Zoo staff had sealed off the entrance to the elephant zone of the zoo to protect visitors and had asked Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary authorities to send Nanda and Yashoda, two trained elephants to drive out the wild one. Two more trained elephants of the zoo joined them later.
The tusker was found after a frantic search over a four square kilometres area, but driving it out still took a toll on the zoo authoritie. Unable to tame it, zoo staff had to finally tranquillize it.
Nalinikant Mohanty, Veterinary Officer of Nandankanan said, “The animal has been tranquillized and is still in the zoo. We are monitoring its health and behaviour.”
“The tusker will be kept in the zoo for a few more days and we will monitor his health and activities. We will take a call on sending it back to Chandka Sanctuary later. The visitors’ ban has now been lifted and it is safe to visit the zoo,” said Sudarshan Panda, Director or Nandankanan Biological Park.
It may be noted that the tusker sneaked into the zoo from the adjacent Chandaka sanctuary on Jan 1 forcing the authorities to prevent the entry of visitors to the zoo for the better part of the day. The intruder was driven out of the zoo area after a two and half hour brawl on that day. However, it remained in nearby forest only to return once again yesterday.