Corbett, Rajaji gear up for monsoon patrolling | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Corbett, Rajaji gear up for monsoon patrolling

The reserve, which is home to over 200 tigers, had six elephants for patrolling. With nine more elephants brought from Karnataka, the number of elephants has gone up to 15. However, only three of the Karnataka elephants will be used for patrols.

dehradun Updated: Jun 20, 2017 20:50 IST
Nihi Sharma
Forest guards ride elephants during patrol duty in Corbett tiger reserve.
Forest guards ride elephants during patrol duty in Corbett tiger reserve. (HT Photo)

DEHRADUN: The authorities at Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves are gearing up for patrolling during monsoon season. While Corbett has a fresh batch of elephants from Karnataka, Rajaji will be using its old trained pachyderms this season.

Expecting rains by the month-end, the Corbett management called its circle meeting on Thursday. During the meeting, officials were asked to chalk out plan to patrol the reserve during heavy rainfall. They were asked to take additional precautionary measures on “porous” southern boundary of the reserve.

The reserve, which is home to over 200 tigers, had six domesticated elephants for patrolling. With nine more elephants brought from Karnataka, the number of elephants has gone up to 15. However, only three of the Karnataka animals will be used for patrolling. “We will be using three elephants that are adults for patrolling as remaining six brought from Karnataka are still sub-adults. However, occasionally we will take young elephants too for a ride so that they get accustomed to the forest,” Amit Verma, deputy director, Corbett, told Hindustan Times. The authorities will be deploying at least three elephants for monitoring southern boundary of the park, which shares border with Uttar Pradesh and is highly vulnerable to poaching. In 2012, a tiger poaching incident was reported from Savalde range, close to the boundary.

There are 1,035 wild elephants in the reserve.

Rajaji, however, will be receiving elephants by the year-end. The reserve has only three domesticated elephants that will be used for patrolling. The reserve is highly porous from all sides. “We needed elephants for patrolling. About nine elephants from Karnataka will be brought here by year-end. Until then, we will have to manage with our three domesticated elephants,” said Sanatan Sonkar, director, Rajaji.

Elephants become the most efficient medium of patrolling during monsoon when the vegetation increases drastically. Weed, grass and ground plants multiply making it difficult to scan the area.