Wild jumbo's regular visit to temple turns 'religious'

Wild jumbo's regular visit to temple turns 'religious'

The Forest department personnel have taken all measures to drive away the tusker that is frequently spotted at Himavad Gopalaswamy temple, under Bandipur Tiger Reserve, since a few days.

Earlier, it was projected on the social media that the wild jumbo's regular visit to the temple was to pay its obeisance to the deity.

However, according to the Forest department personnel, the tusker has been frequenting the place, attracted by discarded food and plantain leaves.

While a few opined that the lone tusker is dangerous and has to be chased back into
the forest, some felt that it should not be disturbed, as the elephant has not hurt anybody.

Speaking to DH, Bandipur Tiger Reserve Director Ambadi Madhav said, the Forest department has directed the temple administrative board to be cautious and keep food and other things out of the reach of wild animals.

Prasada is distributed to the devotees at the temple, so the leftover prasada and plantain leaves are dumped on the premises, which attracts wild animals. The tusker had visited the temple even on Wednesday and fed on discarded food. As the jumbo may pose a threat to the lives of humans, it has been decided to drive it back into the forests, he said.

Madhav pointed out that even a tamed elephant had attacked a few tourists while they were clicking photos at Bandipur recently. As the possibilities of the wild animals attacking the public for defence is high, all efforts are being made to drive it. The department tried to chase the jumbo on Wednesday afternoon, when it made a brief visit. All measures would be taken to drive it permanently into the forests, he added.

Speaking to DH, a wildlife expert brushed aside the reports that the jumbo has turned religious. He explained that the elephant has been visiting the temple in search of food. The jumbo's visit to the temple has been popularised for publicity, he opined.

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