By Seema Sharma
DEHRADUN: Officials at Rajaji National Park (RNP) are concerned by the fact that they have only two domestic elephants to patrol the sanctuary against the requirement of 8.
The shortage is hampering security operations and other important work at the park. The park, spread across 820 square kilometers, has a number of wild species and requires constant vigilance from poachers. Wildlife experts believe that elephants are an important ally in the work carried out by those guarding the park.
"Elephants are an excellent option for patrolling the park since they create minimum disturbance in the forest. The wild animals, too, do not shy away from them," said Rivash Pandav, scientist at the Wild Life Institute.
The shortage of elephants would be felt the most during the monsoons because Maruti Gypsies - used for moving inside the park - become unwieldy during the rainy season. "Elephants are better in patrolling the sanctuary against poaching during the monsoon," director of RNP, SP Subhudhi, said. "We have requested the union government to procure more elephants. We hope they respond soon."