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TN forest department on hunt to capture killer wild tusker

Chennai, Nov 22 (BPNS)

Tamil Nadu forest department has constituted a special team of officers to capture Pandalur makhna 2 (PM2) that had killed a 57-year-old woman on Saturday and damaged several houses and buildings for the past few months.

The woman was killed at  Valavayal in Coimbatore district and two others were also injured by the attack from the elephant. People of the area have been protesting against the tusker damaging properties for the past few months and with the killing of the woman, the protests have turned severe.

A team of officials including a Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Veterinarians, four forest rangers, elephant trackers, Assistant Conservator of Forests, and catchers from Coimbatore have reached Devala and are camping to catch the elephant PM2. The services of Kumki elephants Wasim and  Vijay will also be used for the hunt of the wild tusker, sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department told BPNS. The forest officials also told IANS the elephant PM2 after its capture will be released in the Madumalai Tiger Reserve.

Local people had on Monday staged a blockade at Devala Bazar in Valavayal and the Principal Chief Conservator of  Forests issued orders to the Field Director of Madumalai Tiger Reserve to capture the elephant PM2.

The forest officials told BPNS that the elephant Pandalur Makhna had arrived in the Gudalur forest range from Kerala and had damaged several properties and buildings including houses in the past.

Man-animal conflict has been a major subject of discussion in the past few months in areas bordering forest lands and elephants have been reaching in herds and destroying small shops and eating away jaggery, plantains, banana, etc in these shops. Sugar cane fields have also been destroyed in large numbers in the forest borders of Tamil Nadu by raging wild elephants.