Bhubaneswar: When one-year-old Kalinga returned to her family, it was a reunion of jumbo size.
The elephant calf got separated on May 6 when her herd attacked the Kalinga film studio near the Chandaka forest in Bhubaneswar. Forest Department officials named her Kalinga, after the studio, and took care of her working towards the day when she could return home.
“We kept Kalinga in the open, so that the herd could locate her. In their second attempt the herd took Kalinga along with them and we hope that she continues to remain in the herd,” says Akhaya Patnaik, District Forest Officer, Chandaka.
A team of 18 forest officials will monitor Kalinga's movements for another 10 days, to see if she is accepted by all the members of the herd. But the men who took care of the baby elephant for over a month say they can't help missing her just a little.
“All our employees are missing her, but the best place for her is in the wild for her safety and growth. So though we miss her we wish she remains safe in the jungle," says Patnaik.
Wildlife experts believe that once a wild elephant comes in contact with human beings, it is not normally accepted by the wild herd. But fortunately in case of Kalinga that does not seem to be happening.