BENGALURU: On Saturday morning, a herd of four adult elephants — three females and one male — were spotted by locals on NICE Road near Kengeri. With shrinking forest space, vanishing corridors and encroachment of wildlife habitats, herds of elephants are regularly being sighted on major roads on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Many commuters on this road panicked seeing the elephants so close by and immediately informed authorities concerned. Prashanth, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Bannerghatta National Park, said there was no need for people to panic as the jumbos are in the reserve forests. “In the evening, they will be led towards Bannerghatta National Park, as they have to be shown the direction. With heavy traffic, it is not possible to do this now. A team of forest officials from Kaggalipura territorial range and BNP are monitoring the situation,” he said.
Lone tusker causing panic
“Any elephant in a group (on NICE Road) is not a problem, it is the tusker on Ragihalli Road that is causing all the problems,” forest officials say. A lone tusker has been creating panic among people on Ragihalli Road for the past few weeks. On December 29, a local, Ravi Nayak, was seriously injured when he was attacked by this elephant in Sevanayakanadoddi village. It has been sighted frequently in the morning, around 8-9 am.
R Manjunath, chairman, Raghihalli panchayat, says, “Sighting herds of elephants in our area is common. But this lone elephant targets people, like in the case of Ravi. We have appealed to the forest department to capture and relocate this pachyderm.”
A team of forest officials are now looking for the tusker’s whereabouts and trying to isolate him.
C Jayaram, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), said, “We are monitoring and combing the area.” Meanwhile, Ravi Nayak has been removed from ventilators and is recovering. The forest department had already paid `3 lakh for his treatment another cheque will be given as compensation.