Rowdy Ranga, known for its wild instincts, sent to Mattigod

Rowdy Ranga, known for its wild instincts, sent to Mattigod

Rowdy Ranga, known for its wild instincts, sent to Mattigod
Ranga or Rowdy Ranga, the popular but aggressive elephant in Karnataka, has been sent to Mattigod elephant camp in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The 45-year-old pachyderm was sent on July 19 after a thorough examination by veterinarian Dr Umashankar who was instrumental in capturing Ranga on December 26 in the forest patches near Ramanagaram. Although Ranga has started following basic commands and instructions, its wild instincts remain unchanged, Dr Umashankar told DH.

A BNP official said the elephant could be not kept in the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) any more as it knew the terrain very well and there was always the possibility that it might escape after being released from the kraal. What’s more, Ranga is very fond of females, which will prove too much of a distraction for it, the official added.

Forest officials and veterinarians ruled out the possibility of Ranga being released back into the wild. They said the elephant had already spent about seven months in captivity and its release could prove dangerous for human beings as well as itself.

The Forest Department houses around 130 captive elephants in camps at Sakrebail, Dandeli, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Doddarve, Dubare and Haliyal.

In Nagarahole, Ranga will be kept with Abhimanyu (who is called AK 47 or the front-runner of the forest). “Abhimanyu is aggressive but sensible. It helped us capture Ranga and will now help us train it. With Abhimanyu around, Ranga’s temper will be under control,” Umashankar said.

The training could change Ranga for the better. It could be used for patrolling and protecting forests and even Dasara duty. “If it co-operates and controls its temper, Ranga could carry the howdah. It all depends on how it responds and channelises its aggressive nature. Its training will last one to two years. By staying with other elephants especially Abhimanyu, Ranga will learn to focus and control its temper,” Umashankar said. Ranga’s is in good health, though it lost some weight, which is common among newly captured elephants. It will regain weight in another six months, he said.

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