Forest Department has rescued the rampaging herd of elephants that had entered Sidhi district after crossing Mawai river from Chhattisgarh on August 4.
This is possibly the first successful rescue operation of elephants in the state and the country. The process of translocation of these elephants to Badhavgarh Tiger Reserve is in progress.
The herd of elephants had first halted in the jungle near Kundour village of Sanjay Tiger Reserve. They tore down the huts in the village at night and ate up the foodgrain kept there and later destroyed the crops in the fields.
The Tiger Reserve Management put up solar lights on the borders of the village immediately to stop the elephants from entering the village. Continuing their destruction spree in other villages, the elephants reached around 15 km radius of Sidhi headquarters.
The forest squad kept 24×7 vigilance on the elephants through their teams. Experts were called from West Bengal to drive away the elephants. Villagers were alerted through posters, banners, beating of drums etc.
Despite giving information of methods of protection, the rampaging elephants killed 2 villagers.
Taking into account the security of villagers, assets and elephants, the Regional Director of Sanjay Tiger Reserve urged to tranquilize and rescue the elephants and then take them to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
Based on past experience of the decision taken in this context, the department entrusted this responsibility to Field Director of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Shri Mridul Pathak.
A team comprising officers-employees of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, 7 elephants and their mahouts, members of Tiger Protection Force, officers-employees of Sanjay Tiger Reserve, patrolling labourers, mahout alongwith two elephants and security labourers led by Shri Pathak began a rescue operation from September 7.
The team rescued a male elephant on September 9, a baby elephant on September 12, two female elephants on September 15 and the 5th and the last elephant on September 16, 2018.>