A rogue elephant is an elephant that has gone berserk and brings about all round damge to crops and villages. It is not that common, but by no means unknown. Rogue elephants however can be very dangerous as they have tremendous strength and thus they can cause great damage to anyone who comes in their path. Once they are in an aggressive mood they can also trample over humans. A rogue elephant is a dangerous proposition as the beast when in full flow can reach speeds of 25-30 km an hour. It will rush headlong at its adversary breaking bushesand trees in its path as it approaches the ‘enemy’. Thus facing a rougue elephant can be an unnerving experience.
Earlier the forest department would sanction killing of rogue elephants , but over the years with a view to conserve wild life, the aim is to capture wild elephant and then perhaps tame him. Killing is an option that is rarely used. In India in the recent past at least 3 rogue elephants have been captured by the forest department. This is certainly a feather in the cap of the guardians of the forests. Most of the elephants captured were from the jungles of Karnataka with the last one captured at Hassan. thus killing a rogue is really not required.
Capturing a rogue elephant is however not as easy as it may seem. Great care and planning has to be executed. An entire team consisting of a hunter with a tranquilizer gun, a vet, jeeps, and two tame elephants are a necessity. In addition the forest officer and his
It is best to pursue the rogue only in the day time as at night the advantage will be with the elephant. The aim should be to sight the beast and get your sights in quickly and then fire at the elephant. It is important to have a good aim as the elephant can charge the party with disastrous results. The aim is to tranquilize the beast and render him immobile.
Once a hunter can get a shot at the elephant with a tranquilizer gun the beast will be sedated and that is the time that the tame elephants can be used to train the rogue. The tame elephants can chaperone the beast to a cage or an enclosure and the taming process can begin. This is not an easy task, but by no means difficult.With the help of the tame elephants the rogue can be educated back to being a civilized beast.He can then be handed to a zoo or let free in a reserved forest where he can again attach himself to a herd.