Shivamogga will have 2 elephant camps soon

At least 10 elephants out of 24 from the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp have been shifted to Nandahalli pond near Hayhole dam. DH FILE PHOTO

In a first for the state, the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp near Shivamogga is all set for a split.

Sources in the Forest department (Wildlife) Shivamogga division told that it has been decided to divide the existing Sakrebailu Elephant Camp into two, following the recommendations of a panel formed by the High Court of Karnataka. So, Shivamogga will have two elephant camps in the future.

Sakrebailu elephant camp veterinary officer Vinay told DH that it has been decided to divide the existing camp into two. As a precautionary measure, as many as 10 elephants were shifted to the Nandahalli Honda near Hayhole dam coming under the purview of Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, which is at a distance of 8 km from the camp.

The decision was arrived at after the post-mortem report confirmed that the cause of death of the male elephant, Naganna (26), in August this year, was due to herpes virus.

Pachyderms relocated

The authorities had relocated at least 10 elephants in the camp, out of 24, to Nandahalli. Nandahalli Honda is likely to become the second elephant camp in the district.

It has thick vegetation and running water near the area and is ideal for elephants. The deputy conservator of forests of Shivamogga division has already taken a decision in this regard. 

On the merits of having two elephant camps, he said the panel had also recommended that each camp should not have more than 15 elephants which was very conducive. It avoids infighting and the jumbos will have ample space to roam about.

They also need an area rich in appropriate foliage. Elephants consume large quantities of food every day. Besides, the court has also observed that each camp should have veterinarians, as it reduces the burden on a single veterinarian.

Arrangements in place

When contacted, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Shivamogga Division) I M Nagaraj said, “We found the recommendations of the panel valid. Steps have been taken in this regard and arrangements are in place for tourists to view elephants at Nandahalli as well as at Sakrebailu.”

It may be mentioned here that a team of veterinarians from Bengaluru had visited Sakrebailu Elephant Camp and had washed the trunks of the elephants. This exercise was undertaken for the first time at the elephant camps in the state.

This would help diagnose whether elephants suffer from tuberculosis or carry the herpes virus. If any tusker tested positive, such jumbos will have to be shifted to an isolated place to prevent the spread of the disease.

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