Dhenkanal: Rakesh, the problematic wild tusker which has been spending time in solitary captivity at the ‘Kapilash Zoo’ in this district, has once more turned violent. The pachyderm is currently being confined in a special wooden enclosure. The elephant’s sudden change of behaviour has put the wildlife personnel in quandary. They are now thinking of releasing the elephant in a nearby jungle
The tusker was a source of terror in the Talcher area. It had killed six persons in Angul district. Officials of the forest department then tranquilised the pachyderm before relocating it to the zoo.
Rakesh was brought January 21 this year to the ‘Kapilash Zoo’. Since his arrival he was kept in a special enclosure with all his four legs chained. However, Rakesh broke three of the chains. After that the zoo authorities used stronger chains to tie his legs.
In the process of breaking the chains, Rakesh developed a wound on his left leg. It was successfully treated by veterinarians from OUAT, Bhubaneswar. However, he then developed fresh wounds on his back. While these wounds were being treated, the pachyderm was hit by new infections on his wounded left leg.
The zoo authorities then built another special wooden enclosure for Rakesh at a cost of Rs 6,00,000. This was done so that the chains could be removed and Rakesh could move around freely.
However, in the recent past, the behaviour of Rakesh has turned violent once more. Time and again he is trying to break the wooden enclosure. These actions are keeping the zoo authorities on tenterhooks. They are worried the mayhem the pachyderm may cause if he manages to break free of the enclosure.
Dhenkanal district’s divisional forest officer Bimal Prasanna Acharya attributed the violent behaviour of Rakesh due to prolonged captivity.
“Rakesh has been in captivity for over six months now. Wild elephants usually are not accustomed to such a situation. They move around freely. It is for this reason Rakesh is turning violent frequently,” Acharya opined.
Acharya also said the Rakesh will soon be released inside a jungle. He felt that if that is done Rakesh may cool down as the jungle is the pachyderm’s natural habitat.