BENGALURU: A photograph of a tusker with a punctured trunk, doing the rounds of social media, has caught the attention of environmentalists. The young tusker, aged 7-8 years old, was seen struggling to drink water because of his punctured tusk. The photograph, taken by conservationists on Saturday, has put officials of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) on high alert, and they are searching for the wild animal. According to Lloyd, who photographed the tusker: “I saw it on Saturday at Harohalli range, near a private resort.
The information has been shared with forest officials.” BNP Deputy Conservator of Forests S Prashanth told TNIE, “The staffers have been directed to find the elephant and see if there is a snare around his trunk and neck. Since he is 7-8 years old, it is possible that he could have got injured in a fight. If there is a snare, the tusker will be captured and treated, if not, he will be released but kept under watch.” Another forester said that there are instances where elephants have been injured in battle, when they can break their tusks or puncture their trunks. “It is survival of the fittest. Capturing an elephant at this age will only distance him from others as with human imprinting, no other elephant accepts them. Human interference only means that the animal will have to stay in captivity forever. The animal will have some difficulty in drinking water and eating, but will gradually heal if there is no snare,” the official said.
BNP staffers said that the incident came to light because of the presence of private property in the vicinity. In a similar case, a tusker was sighted in a camera trap with an injured tusk, and again near the Bannerghatta Biological Park elephant enclosure with captive female elephants. But since they are wild, they are not disturbed, and after some time, they return to the wild. The injured tusk becomes their identification mark, the official said.