Wild elephant that got stuck in Mullaperiyar dam canal in Thekkady rescued

Once the water release through the canal was stopped, the wild elephant swam back into the dam and the forest

Published - July 10, 2024 07:16 pm IST - IDUKKI

A wild elephant that got stuck near the Mullaperiyar dam shutter near Thekkady on July 10.

A wild elephant that got stuck near the Mullaperiyar dam shutter near Thekkady on July 10. | Photo Credit: Special Arrrangement

A wild elephant was found stuck near the Mullaperiyar dam shutter in the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR), near Thekkady, on July 10 morning. Later, the Forest department officials rescued it.

According to the officials, an elephant got stuck at an iron grill in front of a tunnel through which water is taken from the Mullaperiyar dam to Tamil Nadu. It is suspected that the animal was trapped in the canal on Tuesday night and as Tamil Nadu released 1,200 cusecs of water from the dam through the canal, it got washed towards the dam shutter.

Thekkady range officer K.E. Siby said it was suspected that the animal was washed into the channel while trying to cross the canal. “Under the pressure of the water, the animal was swept towards the head sluice. Once we knew about it, we alerted the Mullaperiyar dam officials in Thekkady and they stopped the release of water through the canal. Once the water release stopped, the elephant swam back towards the dam and safely into the forest. The elephant swam nearly 150 m through the canal,” said Mr. Siby.

“The elephant is around 40 years old. Normally, wild elephants cross the canal, and it might have been washed away by the strong current,” said Mr. Siby.

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