Bengaluru: He’s 35 years old. Partially blind in his left eye and has no vision in his right. His right leg has been fractured and has now swelled to elephantine proportions.
And since he fell into the Manchinebele dam 18 days ago and hurt his leg, he prefers the water to harder ground. This then is the fate of Sidda, the tusker, who tumbled into the marshy backwaters near Doddalamara in Bengaluru south taluk on August 30. Forest officials and a team of veterinary doctors check on him every morning.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Mysuru division, Dilip Kumar Das said the gritty pachyderm was emerging from the water and walking with difficulty through rough terrain to find food they place for him, the fodder that is laced with medication.
“We are trying to draw him to the other side of the water body, where he can have better access to food and medication, by placing fodder at different spots," he said.
A day after the injury, Sidda headed out for Bannerghatta in Uddarahantahalli, where vets administered a tranquiliser. But that's a one-off. "We cannot tranquilise Sidda again as he is not in good health," said Range Forest Officer, KA Dalesh.
Sidda spends most of his time in the water body in the Manchinebele reservoir as it makes him virtually weightless. "When he comes out, he is limping. He eats the fodder and returns to the water," says Dalesh.
The foresters are hoping that, in a week to 10 days, he will be healthy enough to leave the water and go back to becoming what he once was - the lord of the jungle....