Youth risks life for a close-up pic of jumbo at Bandipur National Park

Chamarajanagar: Bandipur National Park officials work hard to create awareness among travellers not to disturb the wildlife and to face stiff penalties if rules are violated, but travellers continue to indulge in activities that put them and the wildlife in danger. Recently, a youngster got down from his vehicle, reached close to a grazing tusker, took a photograph on his mobile phone and escaped before the elephant got agitated.

The pictures of the unidentified youth getting too adventurous, said to have taken a couple of days ago, that have gone viral on social networking sites have angered wildlife enthusiasts, who want action against the youngster for violating the rules, and to teach others a lesson that such derring-do in the forest is not acceptable.

A forest official said that the photos could not have been taken on the Maddur-Moolehole Road, which leads to Waynad in Kerala through Gundlupet in Chamarajnagar. Another forest official said that he could not say whether the photos have been taken on the Melkamanahalli-Kekkahalla Road leading to Ooty through Bandipur. But a wildlife conservationist, Raghuram, said on Saturday that the photos might have been taken on the Maddur-Moolehole road, looking at the thick vegetation on the photos.

He said that the youngster might have stood as close as 8 metres from the grazing tusker and also observed that the tusker looks clams with its ears relaxed. Elephants usually do not charge at humans at once, but give hints of a charge twice before the attack.

The youngster might have stood for a few seconds in front of the tusker before getting away. Had the tusker charged, the youngster would have been in grave danger, he said. 

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