Three elephants captured by the Forest Department during the “Operation Maalai” at Tiruvannamalai last year and kept in wooden enclosures (kralls) at Varagliyar were released on Monday.

A herd of wild elephants was playing truant in and around Tiruvannamalai last year and the Forest Department after marathon efforts tranquilised and captured all the six elephants.

Three were sent to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) for taming and the remaining were brought to the forest department’s elephant camp at Top Slip in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).

There was a 10-year-old male elephant with a single tusk and two female elephants in the age group of four to five and six to seven.

They were inside the krall since August 29, 2013. During the last six months, the elephants had befriended their mahouts and cavadis and were obeying the commands.

Based on orders from the Chief Wildlife Warden, the elephants were released from the kralls. On getting out of the krall, the elephants seemed to enjoy the serene atmosphere in the Varagliyar camp and were seen indulging in sand bath by spraying sand on their self.

Forest officials said that the elephants never displayed any signs of aggression.

Forest Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan had found the elephants were in good health.

Field Director of ATR Rajiv K. Srivastava has asked the Ulandy Range Officer Arockiaraj Xavier to deploy kumkis at the camp and to ensure round-the-clock protection and care for the three new inmates.

With this, the Kozhikamudhi and Varagliyar elephant camps have 21 camp and kumki elephants.

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