Dehra Dun : The tusker declared a rogue by the Uttarakhand forest department for reportedly killing five persons in the recent past, and sentenced to be killed by the wildlife authorities, will get a reprieve, albeit by default, if it not killed by midnight today, as that is the deadline given in the shoot to kill sentence.
It may be recalled that the chief wild life warden had pronounced the death sentence on the tusker, after declaring it a rogue on Nov 9, under pressure from the public, and it was to be shot by renowned shikaris by Dec 9.
However, as the forest department took a long time in identifying the rogue, the killing operation could not be undertaken, though a team of renowned shikaris had come.
Wildlife authorities here said that the order to shoot the tusker becomes automatically defunct it is not undertaken during the time period mentioned.
As the tusker could not be killed, primarily because it could not be located and identified, the directions to shoot will become redundant after midnight today, they claimed.
Meanwhile, the forest department now claims that it had undertaken a â€˜dungâ€™ test and had identified the killer elephant on Tuesday last.
It claims that the killer has a torn ear, which is the physical look out sign that people on the look have been given to identify the rogue.
However, now department sources said that the focus was not on killing the tusker anymore and efforts would be made to relocate the tusker to some other forest range in the state, where there is lesser interference of human beings and as such not very much of man-animal conflict.
They said that though directions to kill the tusker could be taken again on receiving a petition from the masses, but due to pressure from wildlife lovers and other NGOs, efforts were now on to relocate the elephant.
â€œServices of expert mahouts from Assam have already been taken and now pachyderm experts are also being called from Karnataka for their opinion before any action is finally takenâ€, they pointed out