Karnataka: Two caretakers suspended after tail of elephant found severed

By, Bengaluru
Nov 14, 2023 08:05 AM IST

The incident came to light on October 27 when Bhanumathi, who was pregnant at the time, was found with her tail partially severed

Two Kavadigas (caretakers) of the Sakrebailu Elephant camp were suspended on Monday by the forest officials for allegedly severing the tail of the department’s elephant, Bhanumathi, officials familiar with the matter said.

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Deputy conservator for forest (DCF) (Wildlife Division), Shivamogga, Prasanna Patagar, said, “Last month [October], we noticed that Bhanumathi’s tail was partially severed. When interrogated, the caretakers[ Sudeep and Mohamad] said that some miscreants might have severed the elephant’s tail while it was sent for grazing.”

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The incident came to light on October 27 when Bhanumathi, who was pregnant at the time, was found with her tail partially severed. The DCF then ordered the formation of an inquiry committee led by assistant conservator for forests (ACF) Sakrebailu to investigate the matter.

He said the explanation given by the Kavadigas was not satisfactory, hence, a detailed enquiry was ordered into the matter. “The initial report submitted by the ACF stated the Kavadigas’ negligence as the prime reason behind the incident. Based on that report, I suspended both Kavadigas. Further enquiry is underway,” Prasanna said.

It is suspected that the accused had hit the elephant with a sharp edged weapon with full force while guiding and training the elephant, Prasanna said.

An investigative team has been formed to further interrogate the suspended Kavadigas , and they will remain under suspension till the investigation concludes, the DCF said. The inquiry is expected to be completed within three months. Till then, Bhanumathi will be placed under the care of another caretaker, he added.

The forest officials gave treatment to Bhanumathi and the severed party of the tail was stitched back, Prasanna said, adding that the elephant is recovering.

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