Pradeep Pattanayak

The tusker which appeared disoriented and roaming aimlessly in Balukhand Sanctuary by the side of Puri-Konark marine drive road was finally captured on Tuesday after an operation that lasted for around 30 hours. 

On being informed about the movement of the pachyderm, officials and employees of five ranges of Puri and two ranges of Khordha forest divisions including a tranquilising team reached the spot and launched ‘Operation Gajaraj’. 

The elephant was at the Sector number 11 of the sanctuary. As the animal strayed into sector number 9, the tranquilising team shot the dart.  

As the injected tranquiliser took time to show its reaction, the officials and employees kept waiting at the spot with a watchful eye on the animal. 

The tranquiliser shot was fired at 9.40 am and the elephant lost its sense completely at around 11 am. 

Thereafter a crane was engaged to lift the elephant on to a truck. The elephant was then taken to Nandankanan Zoo. 

Earlier on Monday, the tusker was spotted in areas including Hota Sahi of Krishnajanpur, Khandiabandh near Atharanala and Chandanpur. For the sake of the animal’s safety, power supply was snapped in Khandiabandh area since Monday night.