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Since 1st March, 1999
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Circus jumbo yet to cool down

Bhola, the 42-year-old male elephant of Nataraj Circus, shook off the effects of the tranquilliser that was administered to him on Wednesday evening and tore down a part of the big top on Thursday.

He remained restless all day, prompting police to ask the circus management to cancel all shows until he was shifted off the premises.

According to Bhola’s doctor, Gobinda Ghosh, of the State Veterinary Hospital, the elephant may remain in heat, or mast, for a few more days.

“Forest department doctors said the elephant will be kept under observation for 72 hours. Initially, we had planned to keep him here for that period. But we have now decided to let forest department officers take him away,” said Sailen Ghosh, the general manager of Nataraj Circus.

Bhola was straining at the ropes and chains that bound his legs on Thursday. He trampled the leaves he was given to munch, he wound his trunk around his tusks and raised his head irritatedly. But he didn’t trumpet all day. His meal was 10 kg of paddy and wheat khichdi, sugarcane and coconut leaves.

Circus staff said Bhola didn’t have a mate after Nutu’s (his 10-year-old son) mother died two years ago. There are two female elephants, but Suman, 15, is not fully grown and Basanti, 20, is not in heat.

Bhola now performs a single act of Shiva puja. “Earlier, he would play cricket, too. But we don’t allow him to do that trick any more since he hits the ball too hard and breaks the lights,” Ghosh said.

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