Cassian Baliarsingh

The forest department’s operation to rescue and relocate a wild tusker went awry as the big mammal collapsed to death at the prestigious Kapilash Elephant Rescue Centre in Dhenkanal due to a suspected ‘overdose’ of tranquilizer.

While no exact reason for the tusker’s death was ascertained, the wild pachyderm reportedly died hours after being relocated to Kapilash Elephant Rescue Centre. It was darted with a tranquilizer dose for the safe relocation, reports said.

The forest authorities had relocated the tusker from the Boudh district after it wreaked havoc in several villages. The tusker has reportedly killed two villagers and destroyed acres of farmlands. It also strayed into villages at night and damaged houses.

Forest officials captured the on-the-loose tusker and tranquilized it before relocating it to the Kapilash elephant rescue center using a special vehicle. After its relocation, the tusker was under examination and a special team was treating the wild mammal, sources said.

However, the tusker breathed its last Sunday morning. The exact reason for the tusker’s death will be known only after the arrival of post-mortem reports, forest officials stated. Latest reports suggest a scientific team from Bhubaneswar is on the way to Dhenkanal for the autopsy of the pachyderm. 

No comments could be obtained from the authorities of Kapilash Elephant Rescue Centre in this connection.

  • Reported by:
  • Bidyadhar Baral