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January 22, 2020
Bareilly, July 16 (IANS) The lone bull elephant, Gajraj, who had been brought to Bareilly from Dudhwa Tiger Reserve along with three cow elephants for assisting in rescue operation of two wild elephants, had to be tranquillized and shifted after he came into heat, turned aggressive and did not follow commands of his mahout.
Becoming ‘musth’ as it is called, it is a periodic condition in bull elephants, characterized by highly aggressive behaviour and accompanied by a large rise in reproductive hormones.
This is the first time that a tame elephant had to be tranquillized.
Gajraj was kept at Parcheyi village under Meerganj sub-division of Bareilly and forest officials were scared that it could lead to a possible untoward incident with ‘kanwariyas’ scheduled to pass through the village route from Wednesday onwards.
The forest team tranquilized Gajraj and shifted the elephant to a deserted rubber factory, 14 km from Bareilly city, late on Monday.
Chief conservator of forests, Jhansi, and in-charge of elephants’ rescue operation, P.P. Singh said, “After 20-year-old Gajraj faced two wild bull elephants a few days ago, he was stressed as he may have considered the two tuskers as his competitors. Gajraj is showing aggression since Saturday, his food intake has reduced and he has stopped following commands of his mahout.”
To control Gajraj’s aggression, he was given herbal medicines and kept under watch. Forest officials later sought permission from principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) for tranquilizing Gajraj.
Singh said, “We sedated Gajraj in a standing position and moved him to a vehicle after lifting him with a hydraulic vehicle. The vehicle took him to the defunct rubber factory, a secluded area. Gajraj will be kept there for a few days and will be under observation.”