kusha: Karnataka: Relocated elephant Kusha heading to woods in Dubare | Mysuru News – Times of India

MYSURU: Kusha, the tusker from Dubare in Kodagu, that was relocated to Bandipur, is now retracing its path to his home in Dubare.
A forest official who is tracking the movement of the tusker on a real-time basis through radio-collar signals, said that on the afternoon of December 13, the tusker was traced near Nalkeri forest area coming under Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The 29-year-old tusker has to travel just around 50km to reunite with his separated herd.
Kusha was captured in 2016 by the Kodagu forest department from Chettalli along with another tusker named Luv at Batekadu in Virajpet taluk and trained at Dubare. But within a year, he escaped from the Dubare camp in search of a female companion.
He was located finally after two years and kept at Dubare. Wildlife activists questioned his being chained.
The then forest minister Aravinda Limbavali had ordered that the animal be released back into the woods. In March 2020, forest officials implanted a radio collar and released him into Moolehole range of Bandipur tiger reserve which is around 200 km from Dubare.
Although Kusha was released, activists were upset that the forest department had released it in Bandipur, which was unfamiliar territory for the animal.
Forest officials and experts from Wildlife Institute of India (WWI) at Dehradun, who are monitoring the tusker have traced it moving back to its home in Dubare travelling through Wayanad, Kabini range in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve and taking the Thithimathi-Maldare route to reach Dubare.
Nagarahole Tiger Reserve wildlife veterinarian Muzeeb-Ur-Rehman said, “The tusker is at Nalkeri forest near Nagarahole road. He will have its own route or corridor and it’s in search of its estranged herd. Kusha may go to Dubare forest, but there are chances that it may not go to its habitat. It is just around 50km from its home turf,” he said.
Wildlife Conservation Foundation (WCF) founder Rajkumar Devaraje Urs said elephants have a sharp memory. “As the matriarch leads the herd, she teaches the elephants everything. The routes which are passed on from generations through the matriarch are mapped in the elephants. Elephants remember the route they take to forage for food and water. Kusha will find his way home,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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