Public warned to not get close to ‘Rivaldo’


Rivaldo   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy


the elephant usually inhabits areas near Vazhaithottam, Sigur, Mavanallah, Bokkapuram and Masinagudi

The forest department has urged members of the public to not stop and pose for selfies with a wild elephant, known to locals as ‘Rivaldo.’

In a statement, Deputy Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), buffer zone, L.C.S. Srikanth, said that the elephant usually inhabits areas near Vazhaithottam, Sigur, Mavanallah, Bokkapuram and Masinagudi. The animal, known for its mild temperament, had also been given medical treatment in 2015 for injuries it had suffered during a fight with another elephant.

After it was successfully treated by the forest department, the elephant had managed to recover from its injuries and continued to inhabit parts of the buffer zone of the tiger reserve. The elephant had also not been any problems to local residents or farmers, forest department officials said.

However, as the elephant was known to roam close to human habitations and along sides of major roads, a lot of residents as well as tourists are said to have been trying to get close to the elephant to pose for selfies, or to even offer the elephant food.

“Though the animal seems like it is harmless, tourists and residents must remember that it is a wild elephant and can attack people when they get too close,” said the statement from the forest department. The department urged people to not stop their vehicles by the side of the road when they see the animal and pose for pictures. They also called on local residents to alert the forest department if they see Rivaldo near human settlements so he can be chased away into the surrounding forests.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:02:42 PM |

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