Farmers trap calf

Mini Khedda Operation

Farmers trap calf

TAMING ACT: The tamed elephants that were brought by the Forest Department officials to pull the trapped calf out of the trench.  DH Photo

A farmer at Sonahalli tribal hamlet about six km from H D Kote, Marishetty was in despair as the calf would raid his banana plantation regularly and feast upon the crop. The situation of other farmers in the village was no different. The elephant would come in the dead of the night, ravage the crops  and leave before the farmers arrived. The farmers did what they thought was best –– petitioned the Forest Department several times, but with no success.
Marishetty, then, decided to take the task upon himself and carried out a ‘mini-khedda’ operation and dug a trench after studying the movement of the elephant for some time. The khedda operation, which was abandoned a few decades ago,  involves forcing the elephant to enter a barricaded trench.

But the trench here was camouflaged with leaves so that the elephant walks into the trap itself. The elephant was thus trapped on Friday night and the farmers informed the Forest Department about their achievement.

But the real drama followed after the capture. Villagers wanted the elephant to be released in a distant forest, so that it would not return to damage their crops. They even threatened to commit suicide if the officials failed to act promptly. They also demanded compensation for their damaged crops.

The Forest Department officials arrived with two trained elephants from Murkal camp and pulled out the trapped elephant from the trench. 

Range Forest Officer Vadsudevamurthy told Deccan Herald that he had informed senior forest department officials about the capture of the rogue elephant. A decision whether to tame this rogue elephant calf or to release it in the forest will be taken by them.

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