A wild elephant that was stranded in the Nugu reservoir, near Bandipur, with both feet entangled in a fishing net, was rescued by the Forest Department staff.
People first saw the elephant around 6 a.m in the reservoir. The tusker did not receive much attention because elephants’ movement in the Nugu reservoir and surrounding areas were common, forming a buffer zone for the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
However, locals began to suspect that something was wrong when they realized that the elephant seemed to be stranded for a long time. Forest personnel and teams from the Bandipur, Sargur, and Nugu areas arrived at the point with a Special Tiger Protection Force unit.
They pushed a motorboat into action to take a close look at the elephant and found that it did not move despite the disturbance due to their presence.
“The elephant stayed in the same place for almost three hours and was not moving. It was unusual and reinforced our suspicions about it being trapped by a fishing net,” said by forest official. S.R. Natesh, director of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said that the rescued team used bamboo and hooks to sweep the nets surrounding the area to free the elephant’s legs.
The rescue lasted about five hours. After that, the elephant swam to the shore of the reservoir. Get out of the water before returning to the forest.
Experts state that was a complicated situation because any animal rescue operation in the water, especially elephants, poses a risk to the animal and the rescue team. Furthermore, tran.quilizers are not used in such cases.
Fishing in reverse waters adjacent to national parks and wildlife sanctuary poses a risk to birds and animals, which can become entangled in nets.
“This is a difficulty because the dams arrived earlier and announced that some forests were as national parks and tiger sanctuaries came much later.
Consequently, the Irrigation Department continues to have authority over reservoirs and is empowered to award fishing contracts. But no steps have been taken to regulate fishing in the forest fringes,” one source said.