‘Arisi Raja’ released from kraal, now a camp elephant

Elephant ‘Arisi Raja’ being escorted out of the kraal at Varagaliar elephant camp of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve at Topslip on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The elephant nicknamed ‘Arisi Raja’ which the Forest Department captured and kept in captivity at Varagaliar elephant camp of Anamalai Tiger Reserve at Topslip was released from the kraal (wooden enclosure) on Wednesday.

The elephant which earned nickname for its habit of raiding houses and shops for soft food, especially cooked rice or raw rice, was lodged in the kraal after tranquillising and capturing from Arthanaripalayam village near Pollachi on November 14, 2019.

Forest Department officials said that the elephant was conditioned to obey basic commands and their combinations when it was kept in captivity.

The mahout and the kavadi (assistant to mahout), who took care of the elephant during the training, will continue to look after the elephant.

Though the elephant’s training was completed five months ago, it was not released from the kraal due to an injury on its right leg.

The elephant was released based on the direction from I. Anwardeen, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Coimbatore Circle) and Field Director of ATR.

Arockiaraj Xavier, Deputy Field Director of ATR and District Forest Officer of Pollachi Forest Division, oversaw the training given to the elephant.

“Now the elephant is obeying commands. It will be stationed at the Varagaliar camp as of now,” said N. Naveen Kumar, forest range officer of Ulandy forest range of ATR.

Before its capture, the tusker had killed three persons from Navamalai and Arthanaripalayam. It also damaged several houses and shops in search of soft food items. The department had sought the opinion of an elephant expert before lodging the tusker in captivity.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 10:15:46 AM |

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