Chennai, June 5 (BPNS)
Local people are protesting near the Manimuthur Checkpost in Tamil Nadu after the Tamil Nadu forest department has brought the rogue elephant, ‘Arikomban’ to the Manimuthar Tiger Reserve( MTR). The Manimuthur forest range is in western ghat and nearby the Kerala forest range in Peppara, Thiruvananthapuram.
Local people are of the opinion that bringing the rogue elephant to Manimuthar area will create havoc in the area as around 300 families are staying near the Manchola tea estate in the area.
It may be noted that ‘Arikomban’ was tranquilised and captured on Monday morning at Usilampatti in Theni district and brought to Manimuthar. The Tamil Nadu forest department officials were tight-lipped on where the elephant was to be released after being captured from Usilampatti.
‘Arikomban’ was captured earlier on April 29th from the Chinnakanal forest range in Idukki district and relocated in Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) and affixed a radio collar on the animal. The signals from the radio signal indicated that the elephant had strayed into Tamil Nadu forest area and a few days before the elephant ventured into the Cumbum town leading to people running for safety. This led to the elephant hitting a two wheeler leading to the death of its occupant, Palraj- a security staff at a private company in Cumbum.
After the death of Palraj, there were calls from local people to capture ‘Arikomban’ and to relocate it somewhere else. A strong forest department team along with the support of five tribal people who are experts in locating elephant was pressed into service. Three kumki elephants and three veterinarians were also deployed by the Tamil Nadu forest department to capture the elephant which materialized to success on Monday morning when the elephant was tranquilized and captured.