The forest dwelling tribe of Gujjars have been given the final orders to move to their newly rehabilitated colonies within next two months. The orders comes in wake of constant movement of Gujjars in forests and their direct conflict with wildlife.Stern action will be taken if the orders are not met. A rehabilitated colony has been provided to Gujjars in Gaindikhata region. Many families have already moved to their new homes, but a handful of Dera (a whole clan) still lurks around in the park region.

So much so that Gujjars have been found involved with poaching in past and their presence in the Rajaji National Park forest has hampered the growth of natural flora as well as wildlife. Even though some intellectuals aggressively protest the allegation of poaching the locals know that for centuries Gujjars have exploited precious forest resources.

Re-occurrence of Elephants on the Rishikesh-Dehradun motor road triggered panic in the forest department on Monday. The elephants blocked the traffic thrice on Monday compelling the forest department to come into their cruel self. The elephants were air-fired upon and were pushed backed into the forest to regulate traffic.

What the forest department hasn’t been taught is how to handle incidents when Elephants blocks the road. Firing on them makes them their enemies and which is why we have seen a few human casualties of late. The irritated animals know that humans are their obvious enemies.

What is more surprising is that well studied people like a Chief Wildlife Warden or Rangers are so under-trained on handling incidents involving delicate wild animals. It is a pity and an indicator of the dangers that looms over these poor animals. Note that that the 820 sq km Rajaji National Park now has only 450-odd elephants and their number is dwindling for many years.

Death of Asia’s oldest tusker leads to grimace within the environmentalists lobby here in Uttarakhand and worldwide. Although, the forest official are being blamed for the untimely death of this elephant the matter of the fact is that Tipu died because of the combat with another tusker (younger and stronger). The law of the jungle stamps its authority over human interference antics. I am backing out in my statement made yesterday but that’s what I had been thinking about.

While the forest team failed to keep a vigil eye on the tusker he largely died because of his disorientation after been tranquilized and drugged for his injuries. He got disoriented on a railway bridge he has been crossing for past 65 years.

I now sit and back and wonder if there is anyone to be blamed for this death. Also, I’m not sure if it is an untimely death. A tusker has to give way to another stronger at some point during his life, often by giving away their life after battling it out. Tusker duels are known to last for many days. And it was not apt for the forest department to intervene and separate the tuskers while they were fighting for their dignity and authority in the herd and for forest range.

I also believe that like most other wildlife species it was within the capacity of Tipu to sort his injuries out after a duel. I knew he was not able to eat or drink. But he should have died under natural circumstances than falling off a railway bridge. Tranquilizers ALWAYS lead to increase in tension amongst pachyderms.

Tipu is dead

January 9, 2011

Tusker Tipu who was provided medical aid day before yesterday for his injuries died yesterday, apparently because he fell off from a railway bridge he was crossing. The wildlife department was supposed to keep a vigil eye towards the progress of Tipu as he was badly injured (read the previous post). He was to be under 24-hour watch as he was being treated for his injuries, and was heavily drugged. But the forest department goofed it up. They apparently shot fire rounds on him and dragged him off the village limits and also to keep him off from a herd of elephants.

The forest department needs to understand that firing shots is one of the most vital mistakes they are making towards these 450-odd pachyderms existing in 820 sq km Rajaji National Park. It feels like they are the real killer in veil of protectionists. And yes, they are. I have closely observed their mis-management in handling wildlife migrations. And they fail miserably.

Tipu was 65 years old.

Rishkesh, Uttarakhand The male tusker named Tipu who got injured during a battle with another tusker got medical attention after being tranquilized by the expert veterinarian. Apparently, the tusker got injured after a long fight with another tusker while trying to join in a herd of elephant. As per the report Tipu got a six-inch long hole in his trunk, which made it almost impossible for him to eat, and the situation for him is worrisome. All the elite forest officers were working towards this cause in the Motichur Range of Rajaji national Park. As per the report the duel between the two tuskers lasted for more than 10-hours. The duel injured Tipu badly. The forest officials had to fire several rounds of gunshots to separate the two giant elephants after they feared the worst. After they had to intimate the veterinary staff in order to provide medical attention to Tipu. Dr Gautam Rpiy Bhalla from WTI provided all the expertise after tranquilizing the tusker. The procedure lasted for five long hours. Others than his trunk, Tipu also incurred injury to his neck and leg. Chief Wildlife Warden for Uttarakhand SRikant Chandola and other prominent wildlife officials were present to oversee the operation. A team of forest guards is been appointed around Tipu to ensure the battle between the tuskers do not embark again. Commendable job! Another story in a newspaper suggest that handling cases like the one above are vital towards wildlife research and analysis.