Rogue elephant
Laden alias Krishna - the rogue elephant - died on Sunday morning at Orang National Park in Darrang district. Image credit - Northeast Now

The death of the male elephant, which was captured after it killed five persons in Goalpara district, has evoked sharp reactions.

The Assam forest department and Sootea constituency MLA Padma Hazarika on Sunday came under attack with wildlife activists blamed the officials of the department and Hazarika for the death of the elephant.

The death of the elephant, popularly called “Laden”, who was christened “Krishna” by Hazarika, raised many questions about the SoPs if at all followed while tranquilizing it.

The elephant which was tranquilized on November 11 was translocated to Orang National Park the next day and it was under captivity since then. The male elephant died around 5.30 am on Sunday.

Wildlife activist Soumyadeep Datta has asked Assam government to make it clear as to how the elephant died.

“It was a healthy wild elephant and the government took credit for the operation to tranquilize it, which had reportedly attacked humans in and around Goalpara district. Now that the elephant is dead, the government must make it clear as to how the elephant died,” Datta said.

“There were experts of forest department who took the lead in tranquilizing the elephant. The government must make clear how much dose of medicines were used in the darts that were shot to tranquilize the elephant,” he said.

Datta also asked the government to make clear the cost of the whole operation.

Goalpara based wildlife activist Kripa Lochan Das, who was present during the operation to tranquilize the rogue elephant, pointed fingers at the forest department experts who guided the operation.

“On November 11, the experts used two darts to tranquilize the elephant. Second day, another dart was used to tranquilize the elephant so that it could be translocated.”

“The experts also tied up the elephant completely preventing physical movement. Although the experts used antidotes, I think there were some problems which led to the death,” said Das.

“The experts should have studied the animal’s behaviour before its translocation. It was an aggressive elephant and its age was not fit for captivating,” Das said.

Former minister Nilamoni Sen Deka also held MLA Hazarika and forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya responsible for the death of the elephant.

He said he will file a PIL in the Gauhati High Court in this regard.

Interestingly, even after 12 hours of the death of the elephant, Assam government has not ordered probe into the incident.

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