NEW DELHI: Sidda, a 35-year-old wild elephant who was rescued by the army last month after his leg broke on being chased by villagers, passed away today near Manchabele reservoir in Karnataka in what is suspected to be a case of heart attack. He fractured his right forelimb on August 30 after being chased by villagers.
He was treated and shifted to the Savandurga Reserve Forest but in the second week of September, the pachyderm was spotted lying in the backwaters of the Manchabele reservoir.
On inspection, it was found that his injuries had worsened and he was using water to ease his pain. Several attempts to treat Sidda were not successful as tranquilising him was ruled out due to his poor health. Forest Department staff then started feeding the animal and giving it
medication to ease its pain.
Just as things were looking bleak, Minister of State for External Affairs and former Army Chief Gen V K Singh heard about Sidda's condition and things started to move.
Shiv Kunal Verma, a supporter of NGO Wildlife SOS, reached out to the General requesting the Indian Army's help for Sidda and assistance in the efforts being put in to save the elephant by Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department. "He immediately spoke with the Southern Command Officer – Lt Gen Harriz and his Chief of Staff Lt Gen Ray Noronha. Madras Sappers Division (MEG Bangalore) commanded by Brig R K Sachdeva moved their officers overnight to assess the situation," Wildlife SOS had said in a statement last month.
After the army stepped in, the tusker could finally stand as he was gently eased into a giant improvised structure created by them in record time on the request of Wildlife SOS.
Harness belts were put around the injured leg and torso to keep him in an upright position to prevent his organs from collapsing.
Verma said Sidda seemed well last evening as he ate and drank normally. "Considering the progress being made in his case, the abrupt end comes as a huge shock," he said, adding, the doctor attending to him had said that it could be a case of heart attack.