Madhubala, a 90-year-old female Kunki Elephant, which served the Jaldapara National Park for the last 50 years, died yesterday. The authorities are presently mourning the death of one of the oldest guards in the Park.
The “old lady,” which lost its last set of teeth recently, was unable to eat because of her old age, it is learnt. Madhubala had given birth to eight calves during her deployment in the Jaldapara National Park. According to forest records, the state forest department had bought the elephant from the Sonpur Animal fair in Bihar in 1969-70.
“The animal was born in 1930 and was taken to the Sonpur Animal fair, which is known as the world’s biggest animal fair, for sale by some Zamindar’s family members,” forest sources said.
“We have lost one of our oldest guards, Madhubala. The animal died due to old age. It is a great loss for the national park. The elephant partrolled at different beats during its halfcentury service and gave birth to eight calves. It died at the Moirandanga beat of the National Park,” said the DFO of the Jaldapara Wildlife Division, Kumar Vimal.
Madhubala was known for its hard work and obedience, forest staffers said. “We knew Madhubala very well. She was very good in her behaviour and served the National Park throughout her life,” said the ‘Queen of Elephants,’ Parbati Barua. Jaldapara National Park holds the record of having the maximum number of Kunki Elephants in North Bengal.