BHUBANESWAR: The Chhendipada tusker, which has notched up quite a notoriety for trampling about 16 villagers in last three years, has given a slip to the Forest Department sleuths who have been trying to capture it for the last three days.
A team, which was trailing the adult jumbo, met with disappointment as the tusker crossed into Rairakhole forests on Saturday. With the pachyderm disappearing into the dense forested regions, the plans of the Department to de-tusk it appears to have met an untimely end.
The Department had planned to tranquilise the elephant and trim its tusks in a bid to curb its aggression. The objective was to quell public anger in the remote forest pockets of Angul where the jumbo has been on the rampage. The plan also included its translocation to Chandaka where a rescue centre exists.
However, the jumbo managed to outwit the forest staff who have been trying to locate it since Friday. A team from Bhubaneswar including Prof Indramani Nath, Professor of Department of Surgery and Radiology of College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, OUAT, Senior Veterinary Officer of Nandankanan Zoological Park Dr Anil Das and forest officers were trailing it but in vain.
Sources said, the tusker kept a safe distance from the team after sighting its members. It was located at the tri-junction of Athmallick-Angul-Rairakhole but the jumbo climbed the forest hills swiftly and disappeared into Rairakhole jungle as the team found it difficult to keep pace.
The Department has similar plans for another elephant of Kamaskhyanagar which is believed to have killed over 20 persons. However, the Chhendipada tusker mainly inhabited the forested regions and hardly ventured outside to human habitations. On the other hand, the second one, which is also on the de-tusking list of the Department, roams close to the human settlements of Dhenkanal where it is a menace.