Monday, 30th October 2017

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Hurt tusker hints at rebels

A wild elephant, spotted two days ago with landmine blast injuries at Baresand in Palamau Tiger Reserve, has indicated the presence of Left-wing extremists in Latehar's fabled animal hub hitherto not known to be a sanctuary for Left-wing extremists.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Ranchi
  • Published 15.01.18
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The injured elephant on Saturday. Telegraph picture

Ranchi: A wild elephant, spotted two days ago with landmine blast injuries at Baresand in Palamau Tiger Reserve, has indicated the presence of Left-wing extremists in Latehar's fabled animal hub hitherto not known to be a sanctuary for Left-wing extremists.

Birsa zoo veterinary doctor Ajay Kumar, who rushed to Baresand on Saturday for treating the tusker, said it was probably injured in a landmine explosion on December 30 or 31 and was recovering without the help of medication.

The incident confirms the presence of Maoist rebels in Palamau Tiger Reserve area despite intensive combing operations. The rebels continue to lay landmine traps that ate targetted at security forces but often end up harming wild animals.

ADG (operations)-cum-police headquarter senior spokesman R.K. Mallick said that all efforts were being made to flush out the rebels from the area.

In September 2017, an elephant succumbed to the injuries it sustained after stepping on a landmine in Burha Pahar area, highlighting how vulnerable animals in and around the tiger reserve are to continuing police-rebel conflicts.

"The elephant is freely moving its legs and grazing. He also chases away people trying to approach him. He seems to be enjoying his life in the forest. There is no need to disturb him," Kumar said.

He feels giving medicines after administering tranquillisers may affect the natural healing process.

"We came here fully prepared to begin treatment after tranquillising the elephant, but we noticed that he was not bleeding. Rather he was moving around without any problem," Kumar said.

The latest incident also underscores the necessity of a veterinary doctor at the Palamau reserve, which has to fall back on Birsa zoo whenever an ailing or injured animal is spotted.

A few months back, an ailing sambhar (spotted deer with long horns) was spotted in the reserve. It died by the time a vet from Ranchi arrived after around three days," a local reporter said.