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Wildlife NGO rescues water strangled elephant

Injured Elephant ‘Sidda’ spent weeks entrenched in a dam, treated by expert veterinarians

Mugdha Singh
Publish Date: Oct 22 2016 1:56PM | Updated Date: Oct 22 2016 1:56PM

Wildlife NGO rescues water strangled elephant

In a four hour long joint operation carried out by Wildlife SOS and the Karnataka Forest Department, Sidda- the approx. 35 year old wild bull elephant was rescued from the backwaters of Manchanabele Dam in the outskirts of Bangalore.


The elephant had sustained several injuries and was in desperate need of medical attention. He is currently under observation and will be returned to his natural habitat if found fit to be released.


On Friday, Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department successfully rescued an injured wild elephant that had been stranded for over a month in the backwaters of Manchanabele Dam, in Magadi, Karnataka.


The dam built across the Arkavathy River is situated close to Savandurga forest which is home to several wildlife species including elephants. 


The approx. 35 year old tusker had fractured his right forelimb after falling into a ditch near Dodderi village, earlier in the month of September. After rescue, doctors prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling in his leg.


The sight of the massive elephant, injured and suffering from excruciating pain and his cries of anguish raised concerns amongst the villagers who reported the incident to the Forest Department.


Wildlife conservation NGO, Wildlife SOS was soon alerted of his plight and a team of veterinarians from their Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center in Bangalore has been since checking up on the elephant. 


Forest officials have been keeping a close eye on him and feeding him. The elephant has been spending his days in the water. According to Wildlife SOS Director- Research and Veterinarian Operations Dr Arun A Sha ,“the water is comforting and helps soothe the pain.” 


In an effort to rescue the distressed pachyderm, rescuers took a decision to immobilise the elephant to further assess his condition. The Forest Department deployed two trained elephants to keep Sidda calm, enabling them to approach the distressed jumbo.


Dr Arun explained, “We had to wait for the elephant to come out of the water, as it is extremely risky to tranquilise an animal while still in water. Once immobilised, we were able to conduct a proper medical examination and provide dressing for his wounds.”


Another veterinarian, Dr Ilayaraja, who was part of the rescue team said, “We took an x-ray scan of his fractured leg. Accurate diagnosis of the extent of the damage to his limbs allowed us to begin treatment in efficient manner.”