‘Arikompan’, the wild tusker that was radiocollared and translocated from Chinnakkanal to Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Thekkady because of its penchant for raiding provision shops in Santhanpara and Chinnakkanal panchayats, has now returned to the neighbouring Kumily town worrying forest department officials and local natives.
According to forest department officials, tusker ‘Arikompan’ reached around 150 meters at the human habitation at Rosapookandam near Kumily town around 11 pm on Thursday night. Noticed the presence of the tusker through the Satellite radio Collar Signals PTR filed director Kottayam P P Pramod, PTR East deputy director Patil Suyog Subah Rao led forest officials reached the spot and chased the tusker back to the forest.
According to forest department officials, the tusker reached Rosapookandam through Mavadi- Medakanam, Karadikkavala, Kokkarakkandam and near Rosapookandam on Thursday night.
Also read: Arikompan is partially blind, says Kerala Forest dept. report
PTR filed director Kottayam, P.P. Pramod told The Hindu that the department special team is closely monitoring the movements of tusker ‘Arikompan’ “ The Rosappoandam area and forest border were seperated with trench. It was directed to clear the trenches to ensure to block the entry of the tusker to human habitations. “ said Mr Pramod.
‘Arikompan’ was also spotted near Kumily on Wednesday night. According to satellite radio collar signals, the tusker was traced within 6 km aerial distance from Kumily town. After briefly exploring the area, ‘Arikompan’ returned to Medakanam, where it was first released inside the forest area inside the PTR.
Kumily panchayat president, Shanthi Shajimon said that the tusker spotted Rosapookandam in a thickly populated area. “ The forest department officials timely intervened in the issue and chased back the animal to the forest. A meeting of panchayat members will be conducted on Friday and will take further steps” said Ms. Shajimon.
According to officials, after camping for two weeks at Megamalai in Tamil Nadu, the tusker returned to the Kerala side of the forest at Mullakkudi five days ago.
‘Arikompan’ was captured from Chinnakkanal on April 29 and released to the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) on April 30. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Forest department continued the ban on entry of tourists to the Megamalai hill station, near Chinnamanur, considering the chances of its return to Megamalai again.