Dhenkanal: With ‘Good Boy’ remark Rakesh, the rogue tusker which had been spending time in solitary captivity at the ‘Kapilash Zoo’ in Dhenkanal district, is finally set free.
Dhenkanal Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Prakash Chandra Gugnani said, “The aggressive nature of Rakesh has changed and now he has turned a good boy.”
His health condition is better and he will be kept in a specious enclosure where vegetation and water arrangements have been made for his stay, added Gugnani. The DFO further said each movement of Rakesh will be monitored in the enclosure and next course of action regarding releasing the male jumbo into his natural habitat will be decided in future.
Notably, in the month of June, 2020 Rakesh had once more turned violent while spending time in a wooden enclosure with very little space at the zoo. The elephant’s sudden change of behaviour had put the wildlife personnel in quandary. During the month Rakesh tried to break the wooden enclosure. These actions kept the zoo authorities on tenterhooks.
Dhenkanal district’s divisional forest officer Bimal Prasanna Acharya attributed the violent behaviour of Rakesh due to prolonged captivity.
However, the jumbo showed good and friendly behavior towards the zoo members, as a result of which the zoo authority decided to release the jumbo into an open enclosure. If Rakesh will maintain the same behavior in future he can return to his natural habitat, said the forest officials.
In January 2020, a wildlife elephant was captured by Kapilash Zoo in in Dhenkanal district in Odisha because of man-animal conflict. The jumbo, Rakesh, is said to have killed over six persons. So its four legs were tied to the ground. He constantly tried to free himself from the chains, which resulted in deep wounds on his legs. They then began treating the wounds but the elephant just became more aggressive.
It was confined in a kraal (an enclosure), with no space to even move. They fed him very less food and water, so that he was always hungry. This way they can make him surrender to the commands of the humans. This was like breaking his spirit, to make him a man’s slave.