Mysuru: A 35-year old tusker was found dead, hanging from the six-and-a-half foot rail barricade along the fringes of the Veeranahosahalli range of the Nagarahole National Park Saturday morning.
The jumbo was found by villagers and forest officials, who visited the spot and cremated it after a necropsy was conducted on it by veterinarian Mujib Rehman. The tusker appears to have got stuck in the barricade while trying to cross it. The compression of its diaphragm led to its suffocation, according to the vet. Unable to lift its hind legs to cross the fence, it died hanging from it.
Conservator of Forests and Nagarahole director, Narayanaswamy said the tusker often entered nearby fields through the unfenced areas of the park to graze at night and returned to it later. But the last such attempt proved costly for it. “Villagers on the periphery of the park often complained about the elephant crossing the fence and grazing in their fields,” he told the Deccan Chronicle.
Angry at the jumbo’s death, wildlife conservationists say the rail fence is an unnecessary barrier, hindering the free movement of animals, in particular elephants, which are natural wanderers.
One conservationist recalls that a jumbo was caught in the rail fence on the periphery of the Bandipur National Park not so long ago and was left exhausted as it struggled to free itself. Although treated by veterinarians of Bandipur, it later died , he noted.
Another wildlife activist says elephant proof trenches are enough to stop jumbos from straying into the fields and the rail fence, modelled on a South African measure to control the straying of the elephants, is proving to be a killer....