BENGALURU: THE Karnataka government is gearing up to send 11 elephants of the Forest Department to Uttarakhand, following its request. The transportation of 11 elephants to Uttarakhand will bring a little respite to the department as state elephant camps are already overcrowded. Of the 11 elephants, 3 will be from Dubare camp, 4 from Mathigodu camp and 4 from Doddaharave camp.
The Forest Department has four major elephant camps — Sakrebailu camp in Shivamogga, Doddaharave in Hunsur division and Mathigodu and Dubare in Kodagu district. Dubare elephant camp has 31 elephants, Mathigodu elephant camp has 29 elephants, Sakrebailu has 30 and Doddaharave camp has 10. “These elephant training camps have the infrastructure to house 15 to 20 elephants but have more,” said a senior forest officer. When villagers protest over elephant menace, it becomes inevitable for the department to catch elephants and rear them in camps. It is a burden for department as it spends `1 -1.5 lakh per annum for elephant on fodder alone.
The elephants to be transported to Uttarkhand are: Tunga (15) along with its calf (2), Karna (6) and Bheeshma (9) from Mathigodu camp; Madakari(10), Gajaraja (10), Kenchamba (20) and Roopa (20) from Doddaharave camp and Shivagange (25) Kapila( 32) and her calf (2) from Dubare camp. When contacted, state wild life division APCCF Jayaram told Express that Uttarakhand forest department will use these elephants to guard Jim Corbett National park, and these jumbos will also help build a genetic base. He said state has plenty of elephants. According to 2012 census, there are 6060 elephants in Karnataka.