Is it bad manners to throw stones at an elephant to shoo it away?

Deccan Chronicle.  | MB GIRISH

Lifestyle, Environment

Forest rangers say it's a better option than to shoot in the air

Forest rangers hurl stones to drive away an elephant on the other side of the railing in the Antarasante forest range in Mysuru. The incident took place in 2015-16 but a video of it went viral this week.

Mysuru: Wildlife enthusiasts in Karnataka are unhappy that elephants are having a bad month. Yesterday, the video of a forest temp staffer shooting at an elephant in the Hediyala range of the Bandipur National Park which went viral. And today, another video of rangers throwing stones at an elephant in the Antarasante range in Nagarahole National Park went viral.  

Nagarahole Park officials admitted the incident happened, but back in 2015-16 when rail fencing work was being done in the Antarasante range. They said the stone hurling must have been done to drive away the jumbo rather than to hurt it.

Indeed, rail barricades were installed to prevent wild jumbos from straying into the vicinity of human habitations in the Bandipur, Nagarahole, Bannerghatta sanctuaries.

The source Deccan Chronicle spoke to could identify one of the stone-throwing rangers but would not reveal his name. In pictures circulated to Deccan Chronicle, five forest guards—one of them with what looked like a firearm—can be seen throwing stones at an elephant on the other side of the fence.

However, wildlifers questioned the rationale of forest staff hurling stones when they could have fired in the fire to scare away the elephant. Antarasante forest officials, however, said some jumbos are hard to drive away with shots in the air. “We will need 100 bullets to be fired in the air,” said the source.

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