Bengaluru: Five elephants from Karnataka will be brought to the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).
These elephants will undertake forest patrolling and carry out rescue operations, especially in cases of man-animal conflict.
A team of experts including PTR deputy director Naveen Khandelwal and senior veterinarian, Dr Daksh Gangwar, has reached Karnataka to select elephants. The final date to transport the jumbos will be decided soon after getting necessary approvals from the Karnataka Forest department.
Dr Gangwar said, “Our priority is to look for young elephants between eight and 20 years. We may consider a little older elephant also if it is suitable. They must be healthy without any chronic injury or disease like tuberculosis. We are also checking how the elephant responds to commands of its mahout, condition of its nails, etc.”
According to Naveen Khandelwal, “We have shortlisted seven elephants and we will select more before finalizing five of them.”
Thereafter, a proposal will be sent to Karnataka’s principal chief conservator of forests, who will give a final nod for handing over the elephants to PTR. This is expected by the end of January and once the approval is given, the elephants will be brought to Pilibhit, where they will be kept in isolation. Their mahouts from Karnataka will accompany the jumbos to PTR and stay till they accept commands in Hindi from local mahouts, Khandelwal added.