STAFF REPORTER GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - The wild elephant, which was captured on Monday a fortnight after it killed five people in Goalpara district, was today lifted into a truck and taken to an “unknown” location. The convoy, which also included two other trucks carrying a kumki (trained elephant) each left the Dhupdhara IB of Rongjuli range at around 4 pm.
The wild elephant being transferred onto a truck near Dhupdhara in Goalpara district on Tuesday. – UB Photos
Chief Wildlife Warden MK Yadav and other forest officials are accompanying the convoy.
Though some sources said it would be either taken to Orang or the State Zoo, the forest department officially was tight-lipped on it. Initially there were plans to translocate it to Lumding, but as the news spread it triggered protests from the locals there resulting in the change in plan.
Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, when contacted, said the department was exploring various options.
“We have a lot of protected areas. We are exploring the options. We will first make an attempt to domesticate it. It will take some time. If we do not succeed, we will take a call later,” the minister said.
A member of the committee formed to study and monitor the elephant’s behaviour said that the health of the elephant is fine. “It should be of around 40 years of age. There is one human inflicted injury on the left hind leg of the animal, but it did not appear too serious,” the member said.
The team which tranquillised the elephant and captured it also included Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika whose family had a tradition of capturing and taming elephants till the art was banned.
The forest department has ascertained that the bull elephant is not the same elephant (‘Laden’) which had been responsible for killing of over 30 people in the district in the last two years. It is a new individual, a musth.
The forest department believes that ‘Laden’ had died some time back on the Garo hills border. However, the carcass has not been recovered. Foresters have not spotted ‘Laden’ for a long time.
At least nine human casualties were reported in Goalpara district this year due to man-elephant conflict.