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Wild tusker Karuppan eludes capture by TN forest department

The Tamil Nadu forest department which is on a massive hunt to capture the wild tusker, Karuppan, that has created havoc in many areas of the Thalavadi, Hasanur, and Jeerhalli forest ranges under the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve is not able to trap it.

Chennai, Jan 16 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu forest department which is on a massive hunt to capture the wild tusker, Karuppan, that has created havoc in many areas of the Thalavadi, Hasanur, and Jeerhalli forest ranges under the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve is not able to trap it.

A strong team of 150 people including senior officers of the Tamil Nadu forest department, forest veterinarians, and others is involved for the fourth successive day to catch the elephant.

On Saturday, the forest veterinarians were able to hit the tusker with the anesthetic injection and the animal fainted. However, when the forest officials were loading it in a truck, using Kumki elephants and expert mahouts, the animal regained consciousness and escaped into the forest.

In the evening on Saturday, the forest department officials again fired an anesthesia-filled dart, but the elephant again escaped into the deep forest. The forest officials are in search of the animal and have kept the animal under the loop.

Sources in the forest department, however, told BPNS that the terrain and weather conditions in some areas of the forest ranges including mist and fog by evening is becoming a hindrance to capturing the elephant. The officials also said that the elephant is under the loop of the forest department and would capture it soon.

It is to be recalled that the wild tusker Karuppan had destroyed acres of agricultural crops and is also alleged to have killed two people but forest department officials had said that it has to be ascertained whether this particular elephant had killed the two.

The Tamil Nadu forest department is planning to tranquilize the elephant and to either radio collar it and redeploy to deep forests or to keep it at an elephant training centre and convert it into a kumki elephant.

‘Pandalur Makhana’, a male elephant without tusks that created major destructions in Gudalur areas of Tamil Nadu was captured, radio-collared, and deployed in the deep forest. However, the elephant traveled around 170 km and reached the adjacent Kerala areas. It was darted with a tranquilizer and captured by the Kerala Forest Department a week ago. Now the elephant is in the Muthanga Elephant rehabilitation centre to be converted into a kumki elephant.