JAJPUR: The Forest officials on Monday night managed to tranquillise the tusker which had been spreading panic in the district since last nine days but are now faced with a fresh challenge - relocating it to a safe habitat.
The elephant, which had reportedly trampled four persons to death and injured 10 persons, was captured. However, the plan to release it in a forest met with protests from the locals in Cuttack district. After loading the tusker in a truck, forest officials took it to Dalijoda Forest Range where it was supposed to be housed in a nursery and kept under observation for a few days.
However, when locals learnt about the plan, they staged a road blockade and even threatened to set the truck on fire. Long discussions by the Forest officials did not yield any result and they had to move the tusker to Chandikhole where it has been lodged at a nursery near Mahavinayak temple.
Earlier, Forest officials along with the expert teams of Nandankanan Zoological Park and Similipal tranquillised the tusker in Kantipur forest under of Danagadi block after an eight-hour operation. The jumbo was tracked with the help of three drone cameras.
Forest personnel of Cuttack, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Angul districts, two DSPs and as many two platoons of police force had been pressed into service to capture the tusker. Sources said the elephant was captured after being tranquillised twice by the Forest officials.
Ranger of Jajpur Road Forest Division Devendra Patnaik said, "We were able to tranquillise the tusker after an 8-hour long marathon operation by multiple teams of the Forest department." However, the stress that the elephant has been put through during the transportation exercise may affect its health. At least two veterinary doctors are on job to monitor its condition.
The jumbo was tranquillised by Forest officials and taken to Kusunpur forest in Dalijoda Range of Cuttack in a truck
However, when locals of Cuttack learnt about the relocation plan, they staged a road blockade and threatened to set the truck on fire
Forest officials were forced to move the tusker to Chandikhole where it has been lodged at a nursey near Mahavinayak temple