Kumki elephant Kavita dies at BRT

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R.I.P Kavitha age 73, I hope you are now happy having crossed Rainbow Bridge. Kavitha was captured in Kakanakote forest in 1977.  BRT stands for:- Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or simply BRT Wildlife Sanctuary!”

MYSORE: Fears of alleged neglect of by the forest department have come true with the death of Kavita, a Kumki elephant, at the K Gudi camp in BRT wildlife sanctuary on Sunday.

Confirming the death, a source said camp officials reportedly failed to treat the elephant which was suffering from old age problems. “The elephant may have died of old age problems, but doctors failed to treat it,” a wildlife expert told TOI.

On Saturday, TOI had reported about Kavita’s suffering and the alleged neglect of officials to treat it.

Director of BRT wildlife sanctuary Vijay Mohan Raj had denied neglecting the elephant and claimed that the elephant was responding to treatment.

Kavita had participated in several Dasara processions in the past. It had lost its vision and was therefore left out of the list of Kumki elephants for this year.

Kumki elephants are female pachyderms accompanying the male elephants participating in Dasara processions.

News Link:-http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-17/mysore/33901764_1_male-elephants-kavita-brt-wildlife-sanctuary

Grand reception: The elephants at the Mysore palace. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Gentle and tolerant, or tough and strong, elephants have character traits too…

This is that time of the year when elephants are in the limelight in Mysore.

Elephants have been brought from the jungle camps to Mysore, to participate in the Dasara festivities to be held from October 8 to 17.

Leading them is the elephant Balarama who will carry the 750 kg golden howdah on the day of the Vijayadashmi procession which is also called Jamboo Savari.

Getting to know them

Balarama is 52 years old and his height is 2.70 metres. He was caught at the Kattepura forest in Kodagu district in 1987 and has participated in the Mysore Dassera 16 times. A gentle giant with a mild temperament, Balarama is an affable elephant, according to his mahout. Keeping him company is Arjuna – 49 years old and 2.65 metres tall. He was brought to Mysore as long ago as 1969 from the Hebbala forests. But this tusker is aggressive when he gets annoyed.

Gajendra is another giant of 2.8 metres. Trapped in 1987 from Kattepura in Kodagu, he is affable and participates in the various religious ceremonies associated with Dassera.

Abhimanyu, at 44, is a “toughie” and a “hard task master”. He is used by the forest department to tame wild elephants on the rampage. Sarala and Varalakshmi also feature regularly in the Dasara celebrations.

The second batch of six elephants comprise the mighty Srirama, Mary, Vikrama, Harsha, Kavitha and Kanti who will join Balarama and company next week to prepare for the annual event .

Related News Link:http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/kids/article631922.ece

The second batch of Dasara elephants arrived at the Palace premises here on Saturday afternoon. 2010

Six jumbos-Srirama, Kanthi, Vikrama, Kavitha, Mary and Harsha were given a ceremonial welcome by the forest officials on their arrival. These elephants would be part of the first batch of jumbos led by howdah elephant Balarama to take part in the Vijayadashami procession, to be held as the grand finale of the nine-day Dasara festivities. In all, the 12 elephants would camp in Palace premises for the next 20 days till the Dasara celebrations come to an end.

The mahouts and their families of the six elephants also accompanied the jumbos.
The 53-year old Srirama is brought from K Gudi camp and has took part in Dasara for 13 years. While, Kanthi and Kavitha took part in Vijayadasahami for seven times and are brought from the same camp. Vikrama from Dubare camp will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and Harsha from Dubare has took part in dasara festivities for 11 years. The elephant Mary will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and is brought from Sunka- dakatte camp(Hunsur).

Related News Link:- http://www.deccanherald.com/content/101531/second-batch-elephants-arrives-city.html

Leopard caught in wire snare dies

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MYSORE: A leopard trapped in a wire snare inside Bandipur tiger reserve died on Friday.

This comes two months after a gang of poachers was arrested for placing jaw traps inside the Biligiri Ranga Tiger (BRT) wildlife sanctuary.

Not related. 

Authorities suspect that the trap was laid by locals to catch a boar or a hare. The leopard, around 8 years, was found dead in a snare in N Begur forest range near Katwalu village. The feline died because of the injuries sustained while trying to claw out of the snare, said forest officials. A Special Tiger Protection Force team has been asked to probe the crime along with jurisdiction forest officers, said Kumar Pushkar, director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Authorities have intensified checks inside the forest and said that they have not discovered any other snares in the reserved area. Pushkar ruled out the role of any organized gang laying the trap. “Going by the way the trap was laid we are sure that it was done by the locals,” he added.

In July BRT reserve authorities had arrested a six-member gang from Haryana for laying jaw traps for tigers inside the reserve area. The jaw traps would be activated in the night. In the morning they would be dismantled and stowed away.

Following their arrest, patrolling was intensified and checks were conducted to discover traps.

Former Kumki Kavita unwell

Kavita, an elephant from the K Gudi elephant camp, a regular at the Dasara celebrations since years is battling for survival.

The 75-year-old kumki (accompanying) elephant has poor vision in one eye because of which it has been a victim of minor accidents in the forest. Recently it stumbled in the forest injuring herself badly.


The elephant is weak and unwell from the past 15 days. No veterinarian from the department has visited K Gudi camp to treat the elephant. “It is aged and there is no point in treating it,” allegedly said a doctor when he was told of the elephant’s suffering.

However, Biligiri Ranga Tiger (BRT) wildlife sanctuary director Vijaya Mohan Raj denied that elephants in the camps are being neglected . He denied allegations that Kavita was not being treated. “In fact, we have started giving special food to the elephant so that she gains energy. She is responding to treatment.” he said.

News Link:-http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-15/mysore/33862059_1_jaw-traps-bandipur-tiger-reserve-elephant

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