By G.T. Sathish
Earlier, it had been stopped in June owing to heavy rain
The Forest Department is likely to resume its operation to capture wild elephants by November-end. The operation, aimed at capturing 25 wild elephants in Alur and Sakleshpur forests, was stopped in June this year owing to heavy rainfall. The department is yet to capture three elephants.
Ganesh Bhat, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Hassan, told The Hindu on Monday that preparations were being made to resume the operation by this month end.
The department launched the operation earlier this year, following a clearance from the Karnataka High Court for capturing 25 wild elephants, which allegedly frequented human habitats, caused death of human beings and damaged crops. The department had used domesticated elephants in the operation. After taking part in the operations in Hassan, the tamed elephants were busy with Dasara celebrations. Now, they are ready for the operation as they have had a month-long rest in the elephant camps.
Nearly 35 people had died in two taluks owing to elephant attacks in the last 10 years. Crops worth lakhs of rupees had been destroyed. Even on November 11, a group of elephants entered agricultural fields at Kittagalale village in Alur taluk. Farmers have urged the Forest Department to resume the operation and capture the remaining elephants.
The Forest Department is investigating into the ivory recovered from six people, who were taken into custody in a joint operation by the Forest and Police departments. The officers had seized 20 kg ivory from the accused on Sunday. The accused had reportedly told the police that they got ivory from an elephant which had died about three months ago. Mr. Bhat said that post mortem of the carcass of an elephant found in deep forests would be conducted to know the reason for its death. “The police are expected to handover the case to our department,” he said.