Wild tusker under close watch

A banana plantation that was destroyed by wild elephants at Ettimadai in Coimbatore on Saturday.

A banana plantation that was destroyed by wild elephants at Ettimadai in Coimbatore on Saturday.  

With the tracking team spotting the wild tusker that was on a rampage in Madukkarai areas and later joined two other elephants to form a small herd, alone again on Saturday, the hope of forest personnel to tranquilise it has increased.

A senior official in charge of the Operation Madukkarai Maharaj said that if the tusker continued to be a loner, it would be easy for us to tranquilise and translocate it to the Mudumalai elephant camp.

Since the operation started early this week, the forest personnel were perplexed as the lone tusker suddenly joined two other tuskers. Two days ago, it became even more complicated with the trio trying to join a herd of four elephants (that includes two females).

Forest sources said that the separation had come in the wake of the ongoing firing practice at the Naval Firing Range, at Madukkarai. “Disturbed by firing sounds, the loner should have got separated from the rest once again,” an officer said.

On Saturday, the tribal watchers and trackers numbering around 30, roped in for the operation, performed a puja and formally commenced the operation by entering the forests along with the kumkis.

Earlier, the three tuskers damaged nearly 120 fully grown banana plants at the farm land of V. Ramakrishnasamy and K. Murugasamy at Ettimadai. Villagers spotted the elephants in two groups – the loner and two others – around 5 in the morning and chased them into the forest.

The elephants moved to a passage between Sangusakkaramalai and Sorimalai and it was then the wild tusker was seen alone. The team of 86 forest personnel, across ranks, were closely monitoring the movement of the loner and the other elephants. A team also inspected Mattathukadu, close to the place where the lone tusker is moving about.

An officer said that expert trackers and elephant men from the tribal community, who are employed at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, were monitoring the lone tusker closely and preparing to deploy four kumkis for tranquilising it.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:31:50 AM |

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