Karnataka's oldest jumbo dies at Sakrebailu

Karnataka's oldest jumbo dies at Sakrebailu

Ninety-year-old Indira, arguably the oldest tusker in Karnataka, died at the Sakrebailu elephant camp near here early on Monday morning.

Indira was brought to Sakrebailu in 1968 along with two other elephants, Balarama and Bhaskar. The elephants had been captured during the Khedda operation at Kakanakote near Mysuru.

While Balarama and Bhaskar were later sent to Mysuru and Kerala, respectively, Indira was retained at Sakrebailu, said Shivashankar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Wildlife, Shivamogga division.

The average lifespan of an elephant is 70 but Indira lived an exceptionally longer life, veterinarian Vinay told DH. It remained healthy for many years.

Its health slumped when it lost an eye about 10 years ago, which made its search for food difficult. A few weeks ago, it lost another eye. This greatly inconvenienced the elephant and it stopped taking food, Vinay said.

Indira had delivered a male calf in 1978 and a female one in 1983. They were named Lakshmeesha and Usha, respectively. Lakshmeesha was handed over to Udupi Mutt while Usha was sent to the Kerala forest, he added.

Indira was cremated in the camp after the post-mortem. With its death, the number of elephants at Sakrebailu has reduced to 22, a source in the Forest department said.

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