Karnataka’s Minister of Environment, Ecology, and Forests, Eshwar B Khandre, expressed grief at the death of the beloved elephant “Tanneer,” rescued in Kerala and returned to Bandipur on Friday midnight.
Describing the incident as unfortunate, the minister emphasized the significance of forests as crucial habitats for animals, asserting that delineating boundaries between states is not justified for the well-being of wildlife.
Addressing the elephant’s origin, Minister Khandre stated that labelling wildlife with a specific state is unacceptable.
“Branding an elephant or any wildlife to a particular state and sending it back is not acceptable,” he affirmed, announcing plans to discuss the matter with the Forest Minister of Kerala.
Highlighting the interconnected landscape of Bandipur-Mudumalai-Nagarahole and Wayanad within the Nilgiri Biosphere, Minister Khandre emphasised the absence of natural boundaries for wildlife. He called for a collective understanding that animals move freely in search of food and water, urging humans to coexist with wildlife, particularly elephants, which have roamed the Eastern and Western Ghats regions for millennia.
Expressing concern over the viral video depicting Kerala forest staff administering tranquillizers to “Tanneer,” Minister Khandre acknowledged the sorrowful loss of the elephant and pledged to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
“Tanneer” was among the 23 elephants found roaming in the Belur and Sakleshpur ranges of Hassan district of Karnataka. Fitted with a radio collar in Bandipur, the elephant crossed the Kabini river and was found at the Wayanad border in Kerala. Three deputy conservators of forests from Kerala and officials from Karnataka were present when the elephant was brought to Rampur elephant camp.
The post-mortem was conducted in the presence of officials and veterinarians from both states, and further action will be taken after the receipt of the post-mortem report, Khandre assured.