Jumbo Relief: Motor tyre disentangled from Tusker’s leg

Bhubaneswar: A limping tusker which was visibly distressed with a motor tyre stuck in one of its legs for over two months has finally been provided relief with forest personnel successfully disentangling the ‘foreign’ object from the pachyderm.

It was a three-hour-long exercise involving nearly fifty wildlife staffs at Subhasi reserve forest. The animal was released in the wild at around 6.30 PM on Monday evening hours.

“It was extremely satisfying for us to find the ‘relieved’ elephant striding his way back to jungle. It seemingly roared in ecstasy as tyre was removed from its left leg, described Divisional Forest Officer, Athgarh Forest Division,” Arun Kumar Swain.

The operation came to its logical conclusion with the elephant being tamed by tranquilizing technique. The tranquilization was done by forest department experts from Bhubaneswar. After being sedated under tranquilization, it took hardly ten minutes to remove the tyre from its leg.

The fleshy portion of the leg had sings of wounds following prolonged presence of the object. A team of veterinary experts led by Professor Indramani Nath of Orissa University of Agriculture healed the wounds. Thereafter it was released in the wild.

The animal was sighted moving with ease after the tyre’s removal. However it was sighted slightly limping. The animal would regain his normal movement within a week after the complete healing of the wounds, said the forest officials.

The animal did not show tantrum or outburst of anger. As if expressing gratitude to the forest personnel, it swiftly bad goodbye us and disappeared from our sight. It was cool during the entire operation. Before retreating back to its habitation corridors, it looked back to us from a distance and departed, DFO Swain, under whose stewardship the exercise was conducted, narrated.

The elephant has strayed into Athgarh forest division since past fortnight. It had meandered aimlessly for nearly two months in Chandaka forest in the close vicinity of Bhubaneswar. The forest personnel were tracking movement of the ‘uninvited guest’ round-the-clock. As the wild animal was relieved of its pain, it was a sort of mission accomplished for us, DFO Swain narrated.

Earlier it had been sighted at Kharakhola reserve forest in Athgarh forest area in Cuttack district. However tranquilising the animal was a difficult proposition because of the inaccessibility of the forest area.

The forest staffs had perched themselves atop trees building a temporary bamboo structure and had kept constant watch on the animal for almost twenty days. During noon hours, the forest staffs on duty spotted the animal leaving Kharakhola forest towards Subhasi forest which was more conducive for carrying out the operation. We immediately called for the veterinary experts and tranquilizer team from Bhubaneswar.

Wasting no time, the tranquilization of the elephant was performed at about 3.40 PM. Delay might have led to disappearance of sunlight and tracking the elephant under cover of fading light would have been a Herculean task, DFO Swain told this Web Portal.

It’s pertinent to note here that the forest personnel had faced the wrath of the limping elephant. A forest guard has been injured while a jeep carrying the staffs was attacked by the elephant on March 18. Those on the jeep had fled in the nick of time to save themselves from elephant’s fury.

It’s a freak incident that lays bare the human interference into habitation corridors of elephant. The dumping of the worn tyre in the forest area is indicative of human interference in animals’ habitat, pointed out Kedar Kumar Swain, Divisional Forest Officer, Chandaka Forest Division.

People living on the fringes of Chandaka had spotted it two and a half month back. Since then the drive to remove the tyre by way of tranquilising method has got underway to provide soothing relief to the animal, said concluded, Athgarh Forest Division, Arun Kumar Swain.