Elephant Death: Karnataka mulls shifting jumbo camps from forests
Bengaluru, Oct 10: Following the tragic death of Ranga, a 46-year-old elephant who was hit by a speeding bus in the Nagarhole forest area, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has stated that night traffic ban should be enforced in wildlife areas across the state.
Kumaraswamy expressed grief over the death, and said he would not favour movement of vehicles inside wildlife reserves.
"I am saddened by the unfortunate death of elephant Ranga which was hit by a bus at Mathigodu Elephant Camp in the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. In view of such an incident, I feel there should be no plying of vehicles during night time in wildlife areas," he said.
Also, the state government has directed forest department officials to identify road stretches where wildlife movement is more and put speed-breakers in place.
'Rowdy Ranga', an elephant of the Matthigodu Elephant Camp in Nagarhole, died after being hit by a private bus in the early hours of Monday.
Ranga was returning to the Mathigodu elephant camp after grazing in the forest, was hit by a private bus coming from Kannur in Kerala.
Karnataka has 130 elephants in captivity spread across different camps. Out of eight camps, six of them are located in the critical wildlife habitats in Bandipur, Nagarhole, Dandeli and BRT Reserves.
Kerala has been pressing for lifting of night ban on vehicle movement in Bandipur reserve area as the forest provides two key access points from Karnataka to Kerala, and had sought the Centre's intervention too.
Karnataka too had initially shown some interest to explore the proposal, but the CM clarified in August that the State was neither in favour of lifting the ban nor would take up an elevated road inside the forest area.