Mysuru: Rowdy Ranga, a 46- year- old captive elephant of the Mathigodu Elephant Camp in Nagarahole National Park, was knocked down by a private bus from Kerala speeding through the camp on the Hunsur-Gonnikoppa road at around 3.30 am Monday.The impact of the bus was so strong that the elephant's spinal cord broke and its left leg was fractured and it died at around 7.30 am without responding to treatment.
Rowdy Ranga was foraging around 200 meters from the camp in the Annachowkoor range of the Nagarahole Park when the bus with passengers from Kannur in Kerala, heading for Bengaluru via Mysuru, ran it down.
"The bus was speeding and the impact was such that the elephant's spinal cord broke and its left leg was fractured. It was bleeding profusely before the forest officials and veterinarians arrived at the spot," said a park insider. Veterinarian, Mujib Rehman told the Deccan Chronicle that he reached the elephant by 4.30 am and found it in deep pain.
"I was able to arrest the bleeding, give the elephant some pain killers, and administer a drip, but it was of no use," he recounted, adding that by 5.50 am, it was almost certain that the animal would not live.
"Even if it had survived, it would have been difficult for it to lead a normal life. I have never come across such a gruesome incident. A grown elephant's spine that measures about 2.5 inches was broken," he said.
The collision with the elephant damaged the left portion of the bus, but the 35 passengers were unharmed. Bus driver, Ismail Nalakat (40), a resident of Kannur in Kerala , has been handed over to the Ponnampet police, according to Director of Nagarahole National Park, Dr Hanumanthappa. He blamed the driver for the accident as he failed to take note of a signboard nearby indicating the location of the elephant camp besides the road. Rowdy Ranga was once a terror in parts of Ramnagar and surrounding areas, raiding crops and attacking humans, which earned him the nickname. He was later captured and taken to the Mathigodu elephant camp.
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