A wild rogue elephant which was tranquilized recently by the forest department has died in captivity, officials said.
“The animal was doing fine but the keepers have reported that it died around 5.30 a.m. today (Sunday),” said a senior official of the Orang national park.
The 35-year old bull (male) elephant was captured, after tranquilizing, from Rongjuli forest division in Western Assam’s Goalpara district on November 11. Forest department shifted the rogue to Orang national park on November 12.
While the locals had nicknamed the rogue as Laden after the late Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, it was named as “Krishna” after he was captured.
The Assam government had already sent a team of expert veterinarians, including K.K. Sarma to carry out a postmortem on the dead elephant to ascertain the cause of its death.
A team led by BJP legislator from Sootea constituency, Padma Hazarika, tranquilized the rogue elephant. There were forest officials and veterinarians in the team who assisted in tranquilizing the elephant.
Although the forest department earlier planned to release the elephant in the wild, it later decided to keep it in captivity owing to strong public protest against releasing the rogue in the wild. People were apprehensive that the elephant might again attack nearby human habitations.
While normally elephants between six to seven years old are referred for taking into captivity, Laden aka Krishna was 35 years old and the decision to keep it in custody has concerned wildlife activist.