By E. R. C. Davidar

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As the hunters had ho ped, it walked towards their tree. The Wildlife Wa rd en took aimand fired as soo n as it came with in range . The dart hit a rib a nd fell. The report, unlike a rifle sho t, was muffled and low . The elephant mistaking the direction of th e report cha rged forward . Before-t he tusker co uld get out of ra nge, Chandran quickly relo aded and fired. But the dart hit t he bull at an a ngle and the hunters could see that it had not penetrated the elephant's body and hardly an y drug had been injected .

But even as it did so it appea red uncertain . Sudde nly, it jerked its 54 I • head up for one last look round to check that no enemies were nearby. Finally. it put its head down for a long drink . This acted as a signal to the waiting herd. who rushed in a body to drink the water. Mohan was shocked to see the big stags at the rear, pushing their way through the herd to occupy the best places . The deer remained near the pool for a long time . While the fawns played . two of the biggest stags fought.

And then they were read y fo r the hunt. IV T he next morning; fou r da ys aft er the receipt of the Chief Wi ldl ife Wa rden 's lcu er , the 'Wildlife Wa rden a nd the vete rinary doct or acco m pa nied by two men set o ut o n the hu nt. One of the men , a wildlife guard , carried the doctor's med ical bag, a nd the other, also a guard was a n ex pert trac ker belon ging to o ne of the hill tri bes residing in the sanctuary. The part y trac ked the tusker from morning till late afternoon . At last they sa w it.

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