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Jumbo discussion around names of elephants in Karnataka

While some conservationists are against naming of wildlife, others defend the staffers in this case that it is their way of easy identification for capture or tracking.

Published: 14th June 2021 06:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2021 06:47 AM   |  A+A-

In the recent elephant capture operation at Sakleshpur, activists’ attention shifted from rehabilitation efforts, to the names being used to refer to elephants.

In the recent elephant capture operation at Sakleshpur, activists’ attention shifted from rehabilitation efforts, to the names being used to refer to elephants.

Express News Service

BENGALURU :  While the names of Abhimanyu, Bheema or Arjuna, the famous captured camp tuskers, had already caught the attention of photographers, foresters and conservationists, the names being given to some infamous wild elephants are raising eyebrows.

In the recent elephant capture operation at Sakleshpur, activists’ attention shifted from rescue and rehabilitation efforts, to the names being used to refer to the animals. Activists reportedly heard the foot-patrolling team calling out: “Mountain and Gunda caught...!”  While some conservationists are against naming of wildlife, others defend the staffers in this case that it is their way of easy identification for capture or tracking. Watchers and patrolling teams also use such names while sending SMS alerts to counterparts and locals, informing them of herd movement.  

It was the foresters in Hassan division who had named the two notorious tuskers, which were captured on Thursday. “Twenty-year-old Mountain got his name not because of his size, but since he was first sighted in conflict near a mountain, while 30-year-old Gunda, simply means round,” explained a senior Forest Department official. 

Staffers have also named the three radio-collared herd heads. The first elephant to be radio-collared is known as ‘Old Belt’, the second is called ‘Beetamma’, and third is ‘Bhuvaneshwari’. These three were radio-collared in January. “So instead of saying, a herd led by a radio-collared (date and collar number) elephant is moving, we simply say ‘Old Belt’ is moving. Since her herd details are known, communication and action are quick,” the official added. 



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