Sidda, the ailing elephant who was rescued from the Manchanabele Dam near Bengaluru around two months ago, passed away early on Friday morning, after a prolonged battle with injuries.
"Sidda passed away at 2 am. He was perfectly fine last night. He had no loss of appetite. We are a little shocked. His body has been sent for postmortem. We will then know the cause of his death," said an official of Wildlife SOS (WSOS) -the NGO that took care of Sidda- while speaking to The News Minute.
His body is to be buried near the site of the dam. Sidda's tusks have been removed, which -according to Ramanagara Range Forest Office- is a compulsory practice.
"Since ivory is valuable, when an elephant dies, the forest department removes its tusks and stores them in strong rooms. After the Chief Wildlife Warden accords the requisite permission, the tusks can either be burnt or buried," says range forest officer Nagaraju.
It was on 30 August this year that Sidda fell into a ditch, sustaining injuries on his leg and shoulder, while being chased by villagers in Dodderi on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
While being treated for the same, the 35-year-old pachyderm unfortunately fell into the Manchanabele Dam on 26 October .
This time, he fractured his foreleg. While he was able to extract himself out of the water, he immediately collapsed on the banks, and was recumbent for over two weeks.
In a joint rescue operation led by the Indian Army, WSOS and the Karnataka forest department in November, the ailing tusker was moved into a specially-designed structure where veterinarians could provide him with long term treatment.
But Sidda's injuries proved fatal at the end, leaving both his rescuers and caretakers a bereaved lot.