Negligence in death of Drona suspected

Dasara-fame Drona elephant allegedly died of negligence by forest officials at the Mattigodu elephant camp in Nagarahole sanctuary near Titimati, according to complaints by animal lovers. 

The elephant was shivering on Friday morning due to illness. On noticing it, mahouts and kavadis had brought the issue to the notice of officials. Had the officials been alert, Drona could have been saved, said a staff on condition of anonymity. 

The video of elephant collapsing after shivering and mahouts trying to revive it has gone viral. When the elephant was struggling, none had removed the chain from its leg. The elephant was struggling since morning. 

Ranga, another elephant from the camp, had died in an accident due to the alleged negligence of the officials. After the accident, humps have been laid on the highway. 

It is the responsibility of mahouts and kavaids to get back elephants safely to the camp after letting them for grazing inside the forest. There are no directions from the forest officials in this regard, alleged sources.  

Camp RFO Shivanand Ningani said, “Drona was treated within 15 minutes of him suffering from illness. However, he failed to respond to the treatment and died.” 

Mattigodu camp had 43 elephants two years ago. Now, the number has declined to 20. A few died and a few have been sent outside the state. 

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