Drought forces officials to shift elephants to interiors of Bandipur sanctuary
ByMB Maramkal, TNN | Mar 10, 2013, 06.23 PM IST
MYSORE: Drying up of all waterholes and tanks in famous Bandipur tiger sanctuary has forced the officials to even shift the elephant camp managed by sanctuary from Bandipur to Mulehole area where a couple of water holes are alive and fodder exists.
However in the past, only 3 to 4 elephants stayed at Bandipur camp and most of them were sheltered in other camps, but with an intention to keep all elephants in a company at one place, the other camps were amalgamated and a single camp was constituted. There are 17 elephants stayed in Bandipur camp.
Following drought and drying up of all the tanks and waterholes in and around Bandipur elephants were made to starve and this made the officials this year to shift the camp to Mulehole area's Ramapur camp where still lot of greenery and waterholes exist. According to officials elephants need lot of water to drink and bathe . It is a practice to get elephants bathed before being left into forest for grazing and in the evening after return from the forest. When there is no water to drink from where they can bring water to bathe the elephants, ? ask the officials questioning the credentials of the people who are opposing the shifting .
Now only three elephants Jaiprakash, Kanti and and Chaitra are being left at Bandipur to look after the seven year old wild tusker which is being treated for it's wounds sustained in an attack by a tiger recently .
When contacted , CF H C Kantharaju said this is not the first time camp has been shifted to Mulehole. " We have taken this decision in the interest of elephants and only a couple of mahouts who are deprived of money from the tourists visiting Bandipur are murmuring "he said , adding that actually Mulehole is a best area in summer for the elephants.
Kantharaju said water in tankers are being transported to fill the water holes and small tanks to check the wild animals from migrating or dying due to thirst . Even huge odourless plastic sheets have been bought and spread in pits before filling them with water, he said , adding that during summer it would be tough task to conserve water in the waterholes, tanks and lakes as it either gets evaporated or get percolated.