Videos of brutal assault on elephants in ATR surface, Forest Dept on the lookout for tribal youths

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department is on the lookout for a group of men, all residents of a tribal settlement in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), after 20-odd videos of them torturing and teasing wild elephants surfaced on social media.

The videos show the men chasing wild elephants by hurling stones at them at close range and beating them with sticks. The videos were recorded by members of the group who were on the ground as well as those on tree tops. The pet dogs of the youth were also seen chasing elephants.

Videos of brutal assault on elephants in ATR surface

According to Forest Department officials, the brutal assault on elephants took place at Kodanthur tribal settlement which comes under the Tiruppur Forest Division areas of the ATR. The Department came across a few videos of the assault on wild elephants on Wednesday evening and registered a case against three persons who were seen in the visuals.

Arockiaraj Xavier, Deputy Field Director of ATR and District Forest Officer of Pollachi Forest Division (in-charge of Tiruppur Forest Division), told The Hindu that a special team had been sent to the tribal settlement early on Thursday morning to identify the persons involved in the act and detain them for further interrogation.

“We will ensure that stringent action is taken against the men who were involved in the incident,” he said.

Ganesh Raghunathan, a researcher attached to the Nature Conservation Foundation at Valparai, who watched the videos said that acts of assaults and harassment of elephants, as seen in the video, will result in changes in animal behaviour. “First of all, such acts should be avoided. From my experience in understanding elephant behaviour, they should be given their space to avoid interactions with humans. Acts of cruelty, as seen in the video, will create animosity towards humans among elephants. As a result, there is a higher chance of innocent people getting attacked by elephants and the blame finally goes to the animals,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 6:01:16 AM |

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