Chennai, Dec 21 (BPNS)
Tamil Nadu forest department has deployed 9 Kumki elephants to prevent the re-entry of Pandalur Makhna 2 (PM2), the elephants captured in Gudalur and relocated to deep forest area of Madumalai Tiger Reserve.
The Pandalur Makhna 2 had damaged several houses in Gudalur and a woman died when the elephant damaged a house and debris fell on her. After local people intensified protests following the death of the woman and extensive damage to properties, the forest department captured the elephant on December 8th after an intensive search for 18 days using kumki elephants and relocated him deep into the forest.
The elephant was captured and radio-collared and relocated deep into Madumalai Tiger Reserve. However, on tracing the radio collar that was inserted in the elephant, it was found that the PM2 had traveled some kilometers and was on the way back to Gudalur.
The forest department deployed nine Kumki elephants to prevent the elephant from reaching human habitations. A senior officer of the forest department told BPNS that the elephant has traveled more than 20 km from the Madumalai Tiger Reserve and was advancing towards the Gudalur area but with Kumki elephants being deployed, it may not be able to reach back to the Gudalur area.
D. Venkatesh, Conservator of Forests, Nilgiris Forest range, however, said that the elephant was inside the forest range only and it was showing some behaviorial changes after its relocation and that it was in a new habitat.
Sources in the Forest department told BPNS that 60 forest department staff were deputed to prevent the re-entry of the elephant into human settlements.