Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 9:
‘Shankar’, the mahout-killing elephant is still in chains under Kumarkhunti jungle of Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary in Odisha two and half years after it killed its last mahout Dillip Rava.
Even though he is allowed to roam around in Kumarkhunti jungle these days, the chains have not yet been taken off.
Shankar, who has killed three of his mahouts so far, has been on exile at this jungle since November 9, 2012 after he killed his last mahout Rava. He had earlier killed his mahout at Satakoshia Jungle in 2009 and at Telkoi of Keonjhar in 2010.
He was brought to Godibari in Chandaka to be trained as a Kumki along with Nanda and Yasoda after the 2010 incident. This is where Rava fell prey to an aroused Shankar. Such was his anger that he crushed Rava under his feet and guarded his dead body for a long time before he was tranquilised.
While there has been a huge change in his attitude over these years in exile, his future remains uncertain.
He leaves his rest shed about 8 AM in the morning after the caretakers give him food and roams around in the jungle till about 3 PM until he feels hungry again. He comes back to the shed in the afternoon where he is chained and served food.
“Shankar has calmed down a lot. The wild instincts are no more there,” said Chandka Forest Ranger Phanindra Bhusan Nanda.
He, however, couldn’t say if he would be brought back to Godibari again to train as Kumki along with Nanda and Yasoda.