Arjuna, the 63-year-old revered elephant, popularly known in Karnataka for carrying the golden howdah during the Dasara procession, lost his life in a confrontation with a wild tusker, during an elephant capture operation near Yeslur in Sakleshpur on Monday, December 4.
The Forest Department had initiated the operation to capture troublesome tuskers in the regions of Sakaleshpur, Alur, Belur, and Yeslur within the Hassan district. Reports suggest that during the operation, Arjuna was attacked by a wild tusker, resulting in fatal injuries to his stomach. Preliminary investigation indicates that Arjuna succumbed to these injuries.
Arjuna had carried the 750-kg howdah during the Dasara procession on eight occasions until 2019 when he reached the age of 60. Apart from his role in the grand festival, the jumbo had also actively participated in various elephant capture operations over the years.