Increased tiger presence: Buxa to bring in 2 Kunki elephants
Alipurduar: The Forest department has taken measures to bolster security in response to the repeated sightings of the Royal Bengal Tiger in the Buxa Tiger Reserve over the past two months. To enhance surveillance, two Kunki elephants will be introduced to the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR).
Apurba Sen, the Field Director of the Buxa Tiger Reserve, stated: “Given the increasing significance of the forest’s security, particularly in the presence of tigers, it has been decided to bring two additional Kunki elephants to the BTR. Subsequently, the Forest department plans to introduce several more Kunki elephants to Buxa in a phased manner.” While Garumara and Jaldapara national parks have a longstanding tradition of patrolling the forest with Kunki elephants, the larger Buxa Tiger Reserve did not adopt this practice until now. However, in light of recent tiger sightings, the Forest department has chosen to strengthen the security of the reserve. Two Kunki elephants will soon be deployed for surveillance, joining the existing two elephants currently in Buxa, which are assigned to other tasks. To accommodate the new arrivals, all four elephants will be housed in the Rajabhatkhawa Pilkhana of the Buxa Tiger Reserve West. A dedicated rest shade is under construction in an open area identified by the Forest department, complete with provisions for drinking and bathing water. Experienced mahouts and patawalas will accompany the elephants and shed houses are being constructed to shield them from the sun and rain. Once the arrangements are complete, the four Kunki elephants will patrol various corners of the forest as needed.
This measure is not only aimed at protecting against tigers but also assumes the responsibility for safeguarding the numerous small and large wild animals inhabiting the Buxa Forest.