Forest Department launches massive combing operation

The Forest Department has launched a massive combing operation in the reserve forests in Anthiyur, Burgur, and Chennampatti following the shooting incident reported near Anthiyur a few days ago.

Two unidentified persons fired at forest guards with a country-made gun at Mamarathu when they tried to catch them. They ran away leaving behind a bag that contained two tusks, a gun, and bullets.

“We are able to establish the identity of one of the assaulters. He is a poacher who is involved in two wildlife cases,” said Conservator of Forests, Erode Circle, A. Venkatesh. Five teams comprising more than 60 personnel are now carrying out the operation to prevent poaching. The Sathyamangalam forests, which is home to more than 1,000 elephants, has lost at least five tuskers since 2008.

Poachers shot dead an 18-year-old elephant and removed its tusks in Ennamangalam reserve forests in February 2011 and a 16-year-old elephant was shot dead in the Aasanur forest range in December 2010.

In November 2009, a 30-year-old elephant was gunned down by the poachers in the Bhavanisagar range for its tusks.

In May 2009, unidentified persons removed the tusks from an elephant which died of natural causes.

Another incident of poaching was reported in 2008 in Kali Thimbam area, forest sources said.

The Forest Department would conduct more programmes in association with non-governmental organisations to educate villagers on the importance of protecting the wildlife, an official of the department said.

  • Identity of one of the assaulters established

  • More programmes to be held to educate villagers