Forest Dept treats wild tusker hit by Sabarimala pilgrimage bus in Wayanad

The elephant undergoing treatment inside the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday. Photo: Special arrangement

Wayanad: The veterinarians of the Forest Department on Wednesday administered medication to a wild elephant that was injured after being hit by a vehicle carrying Sabarimala devotees.

Tranquilizer darts were fired to get the animal under control for the treatment. It had been injured while crossing the Kozhikode-Kollegal National Highway (NH 766) near Kalloor, Muthanga, inside the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) on Monday.

The forest officials sought the help of Kumki elephants (trained captive elephants), Vikram and Bharath to bring the injured tusker under control.

According to WWS warden Dinesh Kumar, the animal was treated inside the jungle and is safe and healthy. Though there were attempts to treat the animal earlier, the elephant was hostile to people after the accident which prevented the veterinarians from giving it tranquilizer shots. The condition of the animal worsened after it refused to accept fodder.

The WWS elephant squad posing with a Kumki elephant inside the sanctuary after the mission. Photo: Special arrangement

Kumar said that the elephant's condition improved post-treatment and they are keeping a close watch.

According to forest staff, the 35-year-old tusker was a regular along NH 766. Familiar with vehicular movement, the elephant had never created any problem for the passengers and vehicles in the past, the forest officials said.

The forest department took the bus that hit the elephant into custody. The injured pilgrims returned to Karnataka after receiving first-aid while the others continued the journey in another vehicle.

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