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Circus elephant on rampage at park

A full-grown elephant of Nataraj Circus left a trail of destruction at Tallah Park on Wednesday in an attempt to break free.

Bhola, in his mid-30s, pulled down a circus tent by uprooting the pegs and damaged ticket counters before being tranquillised by forest department officials.

The elephant became furious when his trainer Hasmolla tried to chain his leg after a drink of water around 11.30am. Bhola freed his leg and roamed about for hours, damaging circus property.

The animal trainers and circus officials tried various tricks but failed to calm the pachyderm down.

“There was no way we could stop him using traditional methods. We decided to call the forest officials when it headed for the grille gates,” said the circus manager.

The circus officials had also called in the fire brigade but it took a team led by Subrata Pal Chaudhury of forest department to shoot the animal with a tranquilliser.

“The elephant is probably in heat. This kind of behaviour is not unusual at this time of the year,” said a forest official.

Circus officials said Bhola had been restless for some time and they realise that he needs a partner.

“For mating, elephants need some space. We have moved from Barasat to Tallah Park and so we can’t offer him the right setting,” said a circus official.

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