The injured elephant on Thursday. Telegraph picture
An tusker, wounded in a turf war with other elephants on October 9, is giving sleepless nights to forest officers of Chakulia range, Jamshedpur forest division.
The 50-year-old wounded mammal, now unable to defend himself, is vulnerable to other wild elephants as well as ivory poachers.
The tusker was injured during a bloody six-hour fight with three other elephants on October 9 in Sunsunia forest, about 90 km from Jamshedpur. Though he is moving, his injuries have retarded his speed.
“The elephant has suffered injuries in his ear, trunk and body. He moves four-five km in the night but remains stationary during the day. We are keeping watch on the animal,” said Gorakh Ram, range officer of Chakulia.
Ram added that a team of 20 villagers was been deployed to watch the elephant, which has developed pus in his wounds.
“Villagers have been told to watch out for other elephants that may attack the tusker. We have given them firecrackers and diesel for torches to ward off such elephants,” Ram said over phone from Chakulia.
Ram added that they had instructed the deployed villagers to prevent crowds from gathering around the injured tusker. Also, they have been told to keep watch on persons with “foul” intentions.
The range officer also said foresters were spending from their own pockets to ensure the safety of the animal. “We are paying Rs 200 daily to each villager deployed for keeping watch on the elephant,” Ram said.
Asked why the tusker was not being treated, the officer replied that finding a vet was difficult in the remote area. “The injury should heal on its own,” he said.
Karma Jimpa Bhutia, divisional forest officer of Jamshedpur said they were monitoring the elephant’s movements. “We have alerted anti-depredation squad and East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Richard Lakra,” he added.