BENGALURU: Juggling a lone tusker on one hand and a herd of four jumbos on the other that were wandering outside forest areas on the outskirts of Bengaluru, kept forest department officials on their toes for the better part of Thursday. Even as officials of Bengaluru Urban and Rural and Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) were busy driving an elephant herd -- two females, a tusker and a makhana (tuskless male) – near Kanakapura Road, they received report of a tusker wandering near BM Kaval.
Acting immediately, the department formed two teams to drive the tusker and the herd to the back to the BNP. Learning from bitter experiences, two other teams were also formed to keep people at bay, from creating mayhem and scaring the animals.
All through the day, the teams kept a close watch on the wandering animals and tried to drive them closer to forest areas. After sunset, the manpower in the teams was increased and the operation to drive the animals to the park started in earnest. Forest officials pointed out that while the lone tusker had wandered off accidently, the herd was an old hand at this. “Last month, a herd of elephants was sighted near Bidadi. It was the same herd. Before that, the same herd was seen wandering close to BNP borders. It seems to be becoming a regular practice for this herd to wander about,” an official said.
BNP staffers are also holding meetings with their counterparts in Ramanagara and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary to create rail barricades to limit the movement of animals outside forest areas and reduce conflicts. So far, no human casualty has been reported because of the herd and the tusker, officials said.