Home » Mournful Loss: Dasara’s Majestic Elephant Arjuna Falls Heroically in Wild Tusker Operation

Mournful Loss: Dasara’s Majestic Elephant Arjuna Falls Heroically in Wild Tusker Operation

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In a heartbreaking turn of events, Arjuna, the majestic three-meter-tall elephant renowned for carrying the golden howdah during Dasara festivities, met a heroic end during a wild tusker operation near Yeslur in Sakleshpur taluk. Attempting to single-handedly confront the rampaging tusker, Arjuna sustained severe injuries, leading to his untimely demise.

Arjuna, aged 64, had been a reluctant yet iconic member of the Dasara tusker squad, captivating audiences with his regal presence and weighing over 5,800kg during peak Dasara duty. Having carried the golden howdah for eight consecutive years until 2019, Arjuna’s passing leaves a significant void in the trained elephant lineup for rescue operations and the Mysuru Dasara procession.

The tragic incident unfolded on the 11th day of the operation to capture a troublesome wild tusker, with Arjuna bravely standing his ground against the aggressive intruder. Despite efforts to tranquilize the tusker, Arjuna faced the brunt of the tusker’s fury, succumbing to injuries near the tusk, stomach, and ribs.

Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre expressed sorrow over the loss, highlighting Arjuna’s expertise in rescue and search operations. The incident sheds light on the inherent risks faced by personnel and veterinarians involved in elephant-capturing operations, emphasizing the challenges of capturing elephants amidst increasing pressure.

Arjuna’s unexpected demise not only leaves the forest department in mourning but also poses a shortage of trained elephants crucial for wildlife rescue operations. The absence of trained tuskers will be keenly felt during the Mysuru Dasara procession, impacting a cherished tradition.

Arjuna, originally from Balle camp in Nagarahole tiger reserve, had been deployed to the Hassan division for a rescue mission following reports of unchecked jumbo raids in the area. His remarkable journey, dating back to 1968, showcased his resilience and dedication to duty, making him a revered figure in Dasara history. Despite setbacks, Arjuna’s legacy will forever remain intertwined with the cultural fabric of Karnataka’s grand festivities.

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