Grieving Elephants Block BR Hills Road for 12 Hours
By K Shiva Kumar | Published: 15th December 2013 08:14 AM |
Upset by the death of a young one, a herd of wild elephants on Saturday blocked the road leading to Biligiri Ranga Hills, spoiling the weekend plans of hundreds of tourists.
Many tourists returned to Bangalore and Mysore after waiting patiently for 12 hours for the elephants to move into the woods. The elephants were trying to drag the carcass of a baby elephant into the forest and got stuck near a trench. They wouldn’t leave the baby and move on. The herd blocked the road between Yalandur and B R Hills.
More than 300 vehicles were stranded and tourists waited inside their cars or under the trees, gawking at the elephants from a distance. Many tourists ran out of food and water and had no way to replenish their supplies.
Forest officials and people of the region tried in vain to chase the elephants into the forest. The elephants gathered after seven of them had managed to move the 15-day-old calf for about 100 metres. They could not drag or lift it from near a trench near Linganna Kate near the Horticulture Farm.
Some movements suggested that the herd might amble into the woods, but the animals soon changed their mind and decided to stay put.
The forest guards did not dare go near the calf as the elephants were aggressive and prone to charge.
Towards the evening, the Forest Department deployed trained elephants Gajendra and Sriram to chase the herd back into the forest and used an earth-mover to shift the carcass into the woods and clear the road. Conservator Lingaraju and other officials are camping at BR Hills. Mallesh, a local, said the herd finally entered the forest at around 6 pm.
Meanwhile, many tourists decided to return home. A few scrambled to find accommodation at the resorts and homestays, which are always full-up during the weekends.