Bengaluru: As the journey of four elephants begins from Karnataka to the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh, forest officials are taking all precautions to ensure that the translocation process remains trouble free.
The journey of the tuskers will begin from Karnataka and pass through Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, before reaching PTR.
A team of experts from PTR, including a Veterinary Officer, Sub-divisional Forest Officer, Forest Range Officer, Forest Inspector, Forest Guard and five mahouts, has been constituted to shift the jumbos which comprise two males and two females.
Of the four, one male and one female elephant are aged between 5 and 6 years, while the other two are about 12 years old.
Lalit Verma, Chief Conservator of Bareilly zone, said, “The elephants will be covering a distance of about 3,000 km in a convoy of trucks. We have obtained the transit permit and informed the chief wildlife wardens and police officials of all the concerned states so that they can take all the necessary precautions from their end.”
The elephants in PTR, will undertake combing operations to locate stray tigers.
The official records of PTR show that so far over 30 villagers have been killed in man-tiger conflicts in the last seven years.
“These elephants will make the task of monitoring stray tigers in cropped fields much easier,” said Naveen Khandelwal, the divisional forest officer (DFO) of PTR.
Dr. Daksh Gangwar, PTR’s veterinarian, informed that a team of five mahouts from Karnataka will stay in PTR for a few months to assist the elephants in responding to commands in Hindi.
“A wildlife veterinarian from Karnataka, Dr. Vinay Shivmurti, will also join the jumbos in their journey. We are also carrying a tranquiliser gun, sedatives and medical kit in case of any emergency,” he said.