Elephants feel the summer heat at Mathigodu camp

Last Updated 20 April 2013, 18:37 IST

Summer is the testing time for the Forest Department as the denizens of inside the forest world will have to cope with acute water stress and fodder scarcity.

With waterholes running dry, the elephants have already started looking upto borewells to quench their thirst in Mathigodu elephant camp. Normally, the elephants were seen enjoying their summer by playing in water bodies inside the forest.

However, this year all the waterholes have gone dry.

There are 17 elephants in the camp.

They are 53-year-old Balaram which had carried howdah 13 times during Dasara celebrations, Rajesh (48), Rajendra (46), Krishna (46), Abhimanyu (44), Somashekar (42), Asoka (40), Shekhar (39), Ravi (34), Ganesh (27), Gopalakrishna (27), Khyatha (10), Bheema (10), Srinivas (7), Chamundi (14), Thunga (10), and another one-year-old calf.

After feeding the elephants, they are let into forest for grazing.
After playing in water for whole day they would return back to the camp.

Depending on borewells and cement tanks

With the acute shortage of water, the elephants have been depending on borewells and cement tanks to quench their thirst. There are 39 lakes in Aanechowkur forest. However, 50 per cent of the lakes have gone dry. Mallipattana kere, Handigerekere, Hale Mathigodu kere, Sidilina Kere, Echooru kere, Kadu basavana kere, Ganagooru kere, Metlu holekere, Kadabukatte kere, Girikekatte, Hunasekatte, Elagalli kere have gone dry three months ago.

Muddy water causing  illness

 Owing to scanty rainfall, there is no water in the water bodies. The consumption of muddy water in the water bodies have been causing illness among the elephants. Forest department official said “elephants require enough water during summer. The temperature in Gonikoppa has touched 37 degree celsius during April.”

RFO Devarju said “the elephants are fed with hey and paddy daily. Depending on the size of the elephants, they are fed. Shortage of water has been solved by sinking borewells.”

(Published 20 April 2013, 18:37 IST)

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