Chikiti: Forest department staff and local people Thursday bid a tearful adieu to the elephant calf rescued from a forest in Ganjam district. The calf had been deserted by its herd. The baby elephant was shifted to Kapilas zoo in Dhenkanal district.
A herd of elephants had entered the Bahuda river Monday night and was damaging ‘bheris’ built to enhance fish production. These were situated near Soral under Chikiti block in Ganjam district.
On being informed, forest department officials with the help of local people drove the herd away from the river. However, a calf got stuck. The forest department staff rescued it and dropped it at a place close to where the herd had moved.
To the utter dismay of the officials and localites, the elephants did not take the calf back into their herd. They went towards the jungle, leaving the desolate calf alone.
Onlookers could not contain their emotions when they heard the calf trumpeting with all its might. It was clear the calf was imploring its mother to come to its aid. Comments like ‘how cruel can the mother be’ flew thick and fast.
The forest department staff then took the calf to the Tamana nursery. During the three days, they developed a bond with the deserted calf. So when the time came to shift the calf to the Kapilas zoo, there were quite a few teary-eyed faces.
Dhenkanal is roughly about 300 kilometres from Berhampur. The forest department has made all arrangements so that the calf has a problem-free journey. The forest department employees who are accompanying the elephant calf are carrying sufficient amount of food and medicine with them, it was learnt.