Mysuru: Did officials of the Nagarahole National Park goof up when sedating a captive elephant that collapsed and died en route to its forest camp in Hebbale Tuesday evening?
The darting was done in the Kolangere range and the elephant, Lakshmeesh, which was walking to its Hebbale camp, about 10 km away, collapsed and died from exhaustion, before it could reach it, say park sources.
While the park authorities justify sedating Lakshmeesh, after it attacked a few people on its fringes in a state of musth, conservationists blame them for forcing the sedated animal to walk a considerable distance to its forest camp in Hebbale.
"Had the officials transported the darted elephant in a truck, it may have survived," they add, also claiming that Lakshmeesh may have died of an overdose of the sedative administered to it. "Going by the rules, no elephant can be darted inside a forest and a sedated elephant should be ferried in a truck.
But park officials have blatantly violated these rules," they allege. NNP director, Ravishankar, however denies the possibility of the elephant being adminstered an overdose of the sedation and park officials seems to think it may have suffered a cardiac arrest..
"It's a mystery how the elephant died. We have sent samples of the carcass for laboratory tests to establish the cause of death," Mr Ravishankar added. Park officials say Lakshmeesh was in musth and was sedated as it had attacked a couple of people on the periphery of Nagarahole Park.
He was also not responding to instructions from his mahout for about 20 days. Lakshmeesh was brought to Karnataka from Kerala by a temple in Puttur, Dakshina Kannada and was shifted to the Heballe elephant camp in 2013. The necropsy on the dead elephant was conducted on Wednesday....