Pachyderm has strayed into inhabited areas at Peringamala

A wild elephant that had, for the second time in recent days, strayed into human settlement areas at Peringamala, near here, was captured on Tuesday morning and transported to the forests near Achencoil in Kollam district.

The female elephant, approximately 35 years old, was darted twice by assistant forest veterinary officer Arun Zachariah by about 11.25 a.m. It was later loaded on to a truck with the help of two ‘kumki’ elephants. The animal was released into the Achencoil forests late on Tuesday night.

It was in April that this elephant first strayed into human settlements at Peringamala. It had a festering, maggot-filled wound in its genitalia and had strayed from its herd. Veterinarian at the city zoo Jacob Alexander—who was part of the team that captured and transported the elephant on Tuesday—told The Hindu that the elephant never created any problems for the local people. The animal, separated from its herd, found out that the Peringamala area was a rich source of food.

Wound healed

“On April 28, we darted the animal and later released it 30 km away in the Changili forest area. Evidently this was not far enough to prevent it from coming back to the same place. It was clearly attracted by the smell of ripe jackfruit. That day we had cleaned the wound and given the elephant injections of long-lasting antibiotics. On Tuesday we saw that the wound had healed completely,” Dr. Alexander explained.

On Tuesday morning a team of forest officials led by Divisional Forest Officer Mohanan Pillai spotted the elephant in the Irachippara forest area in the Peringamala grama panchayat.

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