Coimbatore

Kumki elephants deployed to keep tusker inside tiger reserve

The kumki elephants deployed on the fringes of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.  

Two kumki elephants from the Theppakadu Elephant Camp have been deployed on the fringes of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) to prevent Vinayagan, a male elephant translocated from Coimbatore to the Nilgiris, from entering human habitations in Gudalur.

The elephant that was translocated from Thadagam in Coimbatore in December 2018 due to problematic interactions with farmers and people, was released in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. However, the animal regularly crosses from the tiger reserve into Gudalur.

Local residents complained that the elephant was aggressive and damaged houses for food and raided crops. However, no persons have been injured or killed during their interactions with the elephant.

P. Ganesan, Forest Range Officer (Gudalur), said that the settlements that were damaged lie in heavily forested areas frequented by Vinayagan and other elephants. “At present, Vinayagan is inside MTR, but he crosses into Gudalur regularly, and this is when problematic interactions occur,” he said. Due to mounting public pressure to capture the tusker, the Forest Department has come up with a plan to attempt to mitigate interactions between Vinayagan and local residents.

Two experienced kumki elephants from the Theppakadu Elephant Camp have been deployed in Bospara, bordering MTR and Gudalur, to drive Vinayagan back into the tiger reserve if he attempts to cross into Gudalur division.

Officials said that Gudalur was used by elephants regularly to cross from MTR and Bandipur Tiger Reserve into Wayanad and Nilambur in Kerala. It was a vital elephant corridor that has become extremely disturbed due to illegal settlements. They added that steps were being taken to ensure the safety of the tusker and to allay the fears of the public.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 9:52:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/kumki-elephants-deployed-to-keep-tusker-inside-tiger-reserve/article37132946.ece

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