A major diaster was averted on Wednesday afternoon by a team of civic officials and local police, who controlled a circus elephant after it went berserk without any initial provocation. The drama lasted for three hours in the residential township of Bhosari.
Officials had a tough time taming the elephant, as none of them had the expertise in handling a wild animals. The pachyderm belongs to Rambo Circus, which has now shifted to Bengaluru. The circus management had requested a transit permission for shifting its elephants, but is yet to be issued one.
Incident took place near Ankushrao Landge Auditorium, a crowded area due to confluence of residental and industrial township. The circus management had kept four elephants on a nearby grounds after wrapping up its schedule in July.
Around 12pm, one of the elephants went berserk without provocation. His body posture and trumpeting caused panic among the locals. As people gathered to witness the event, their presence and unwanted provocation by a few of the onlookers agitated the pachyderm further.
Officials to the rescue
Soon after the news broke out, a team of civic officials and police rushed to the spot. Unaware of how to handle such a large animal, initially they tried their hands at controlling the crowd. Fortunately, the elephant remained within the confines of the ground. However, the police were seen chasing the animal with sticks.
The pachyderm was finally tamed after the officials sought suggestions from the forest department and Rambo Circus management over the phone. The situation was finally brought under control by 2.30pm. All the activities in the area were affected during this period, and the police were under pressure from the crowd not to hurt the elephant because of the ongoing Ganpati festival.
A spokesperson from Rambo circus said they will shift elephants to a more secure place and deploy private guards. “We are also trying to get transit permission at the earliest,” he said.
Animals from Rambo circus have been in the limelight for legal reasons for the past few months. Animal Welfare Board had seized a few animals after receiving complaints that they were being tortured. Later, the lower court asked the board to release the animals. Though the decision was challenged in the Bombay High Court, it upheld the lower court’s decision.