Dasara elephant Arjuna participated in the world-famous Mysuru Dasara for 22 years. He was captured in 1968 and was shifted to Balle Elephant camp. Arjuna was a major attraction during the nine-day Dasra festivities.

Bengaluru: Arjun, the majestic elephant who carried the ‘Golden Howdah‘ for eight years as part of the grand finale of the ‘Nada Habba’ Mysuru Dasara, passed away on Monday, December 4, after a battle with a wild elephant near the village of Yaslur in Sakleshpur taluk. This incident occurred when forest officials used Arjun and three other elephants to capture the wild elephant.

During the Jumbo Savari procession of the Dasara festival, the 64-year-old male elephant Arjun was one of the main attractions.

The operation to capture the wild elephant became fatal for Arjun

For the past few weeks, a wild elephant had been causing damage to fields in several villages in Hassan district. In response to complaints from the villagers, forest officials initiated a campaign to capture the wild elephant, using four captive elephants, including Arjun.

On Monday, forest officials spotted the wild elephant near the Yaslur village. When they attempted to tranquilize it, the wild elephant broke free from control and attacked Arjun. In the ensuing fight between the two elephants, Arjun sustained serious injuries and took his last breath.

As the wild elephant chased the other four elephants, three escaped, but Arjun stood his ground and fought, proving to be fatal. Arjun, the Dasara elephant, stood at a powerful height of 2.95 meters and a length of 3.75 meters, weighing 5,775 kilograms.

Arjun had lifted the ‘Golden Howdah’ weighing 750 kilograms for eight years from 2012 to 2019. Even after that, he continued to participate in the Dasara festival. He was part of this year’s Dasara festival as well. Arjun held the record of being part of the Mysuru Dasara for 22 years.

Arjun was captured by forest officials in 1968 from the forests near Kakankote in the Western Ghats, close to Mysuru. After being captured, he resided in the Balle Elephant Camp.

Arjun has been a part of several campaigns conducted by forest officials across the state to capture and tame various wild elephants.

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