Kerala

An injured elephant and his lonely stroll

The injured wild elephant Chakkakomban on the Munnar-Marayur stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway.

The injured wild elephant Chakkakomban on the Munnar-Marayur stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway.  

Chakkakomban is a wild elephant who occasionally strays onto the roads

Chakkakomban and Padayappa frequently visit the Munnar-Marayur stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway and has been a sight pleasant for the people of the area. The two tuskers stray from the forests onto the roads occasionally for a gift of bananas or something to munch on from the shops by the roadside.

Even during the lockdown, when there have been occasional reports of wild elephant herds straying into Munnar town and attacking shops in search of food, Padayappa and Chakkakomban won hearts for their harmless and lonely strolls along the hill roads. Padayappa, more of pacific of the two, is particularly noted for his masculine bearing.

A recent twist in this tale of symbiotic ties between humans and elephants came with the sight of Chakkakomban with an injured leg a week ago. The injury is forcing the tusker to stay put at a place, blocking traffic. With only a few vehicles now on the stretch, the tusker is as of now undisturbed. But people fear about the animal’s response if there are more vehicles on the road.

Forest Department officials who are monitoring the animal say there is improvement in the elephant’s health. It seems to have moved nearly a kilometre on the road on Monday.

When contacted Munnar Divisional Forest Officer M.V.G. Kannan says the animal may have injured himself in a fight with another one. There may be some internal injuries too and the elephant is now at a place where carnivorous animals rarely come and hence is safe. He says he will inspect the wild elephant and make note of its health condition.

For those fond of the elephant, Chakkakomban’s injury deprives them of the sight to behold of the way the animal would stroll alone along the Munnar roads, silently winning admirers.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 8:15:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/an-injured-elephant-and-his-lonely-stroll/article31946625.ece

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