BHUBANESWAR: To keep a tab on hunters during the rainy season, the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) authorities have decided to press five of their kunki elephants in the patrol job.
Since the interiors of the tiger habitat’s core area becomes inaccessible during this season, the STR management will engage trained elephants to carry the patrol staff to the nook and cranny.
“While foot patrolling is very effective, the heavy showers pose a serious challenge to the conservation staff during the monsoon. That is why we have planned to divert the kunkis to the core,” Field Director Anup Kumar Nayak said.
Currently, the five kunkis - Mahendra, Sobha, Sibani, Bhbani and Raj Kumar - are used in eco-tourism work, taking tourists on rides. The STR management also successfully used Mahendra and Sobha in driving away a wild elephant which was out on a destruction spree earlier this year in Mayurbhanj district. Nayak said these kunki elephants will assist the patrol staff in reaching hilly and densely-forested pockets in the days to come.