Udayavni Special

Wild elephant freed from fishing nets by Forest Dept personnel after 8 hours of struggle


Team Udayavani, Jan 20, 2021, 1:35 PM IST

HD Kote: A wild tusker stranded in Nugu reservoir, close to Bandipur, with its legs entangled in fishing nets, was rescued by Forest Department personnel after 8 long hours of struggle.

On Tuesday, January 19 around 6 a.m. the elephant was sighted in the reservoir, however, initially it did not receive much attention as the movement and presence of elephants in the Nugu reservoir and surrounding areas, which constitute the buffer zone to Bandipur Tiger Reserve, was common.

After sometime when the elephant did not show any movements the villagers realized that the tusker may have got stuck in the fishing nets, soon they informed the forest officials who rushed to the backwaters.

On receiving information from villagers at 6 am, forest officials rushed to the backwaters. The villagers could not confirm when the elephant got stuck in the fishing nets.

Forest personnel and teams from Bandipur, Sargur, and Nugu areas reached the spot along with a unit of the Special Tiger Protection Force.

The only way possible for the officials to rescue the elephant was to use multiple hooks to drag the nets entangled to the elephant’s feet. However, they had to wait till the elephant stopped splashing water whenever their boats got close to it.

The operation lasted nearly five hours and the tusker swam to the shore of the reservoir and heaved itself out of the water before walking back into the forest.

Officials are now investigating how those fishing nets came to be thrown in restricted areas of the backwaters. This is important since animals quench their thirst over here.

Meanwhile, experts said this was a tricky situation as any rescue operation entailing an animal in water, especially elephants, was fraught with risk for the animal as well as the rescue personnel. Furthermore, tranquillisers cannot be used in such situations.

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