Madhya Pradesh forest department would soon be getting nine elephants from their Karnataka counterpart to expand its almost 50-strong pachyderm population used for monitoring tigers and patrolling in the various tiger reserves in the state, official said on Sunday.
Sources in the state forest department said the nine elephants would be deployed in the six reserves under project tiger in the state.
A team of the MP forest department official and veterinarians would soon leave for Karnataka to identify the elephants to be shifted to the state, officials said.
Each elephant would be transported in a truck individually and the team going to Karnataka would chart out the road route to be taken for transporting the elephants to the state.
Senior forest department officials engaged in the transfer of elephants said that once they are in MP, the elephants, although trained in Karnataka, will have to undergo another round of training.
The elephants are all relatively young, aged between 4 to 12 years and have a 40 year work life ahead of them, officials said. The elephants are likely to arrive in MP by October.
A majority the 9 elephants from Karnataka are likely to be deployed at the Sanjay tiger reserve in Sidhi district while the remaining will be distributed between Bandhavgarh, Satpura and Panna national parks. The Sanjay tiger reserve till recently did not have any elephants, officials said.
However, after a tiger from the Panna national park was released at Sanjay national park, the forest department has been shifting elephants to the reserve for closer monitoring of the tiger and patrolling in the reserve.
Elephants play a crucial role in patrolling in tiger reserves as a large part of the reserves cannot be accessed by vehicle, especially in the monsoon season.