On the second day of ‘Operation Malai,’ a mission to capture a herd of six elephants that had strayed into human habitations and fed on agricultural crops, forest veterinarians tranquilised two more elephants.
On Tuesday, they had darted two elder members of the herd. Anti-poaching guards and trackers were able to chain the animals after some struggle.
The tusker was pushed into a specially altered lorry with the help of a ‘kumki’ elephants, though it showed some resistance. After a mahout and a kavadi (assistant to mahout) were assigned to the elephant, the vehicle carrying the animal left the place after a pooja and reached the camp in Topslip by Wednesday morning.
The tranquilised matriarch was chained inside the forest to lure the remaining four. However, the four crossed the road again around midnight.
On Wednesday, veterinarians were able to dart another female nicknamed ‘F3’. After a lull, the team of veterinarians, including Dr.Manoharan and Kalaivanan, sighted the other three elephants.
But when the animals saw Dr.Manoharan with the gun, the elephants made a rapid retreat into forest, but the dart got ‘F2’.
However, the evening that followed was not that easy for them, as ‘F2’ was not sufficiently sedated. It crossed the road and entered a sugarcane field.
Three kumkis ‘rounded’ it up. As per last reports mission managers are planning to lead it directly into the lorry with the help of kumkis.