Chennai: Tusker ‘Arikomban’, which was relocated into deep forests in Tamil Nadu from Kerala’s Chinnakanal, is now back near a densely populated tea estate in Tamil Nadu’s Mancholil.
The tusker had created several issues in the Chinnakanal area after barging into the residences and ration shops for rice. The tusker was named ‘Arikomban’ for its penchant for rice as in Malayalam rice is ‘Ari’ and ‘Komban’ means tusker.
The elephant had reportedly killed some people in Chinnakanal and was finally tranquilized by a team of veterinary doctors of the Kerala forest department led by Dr. Arun Zachariah on April 29.
‘Arikomban’ was then relocated to Theni and Cumbum areas. However, the elephant reached Cumbum town and created havoc. In the milieu a two-wheeler motorist, Paulraj who was a private security officer at a business establishment, was critically injured. After treatment for four days, Paulraj succumbed to injuries.
This led to a hue and cry in Tamil Nadu for the capture of the elephant and ultimately it was tranquilized and captured by the forest department of Tamil Nadu. The elephant was relocated near Tirunelveli forest range of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and situated in the districts of Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari.
Since June 5, after the elephant was relocated to deep forest range, the Tamil Nadu forest department issued statements that the animal had adapted well with the forest and food and water was available in abundance.
However, the sudden sighting of the elephant, which has a radio collar fixed on its neck, near the tea estate in Manchottil where more than 300 families of estate workers reside, has led to panic among the people there.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department told IANS that the elephant is not within human settlements and the department is monitoring the situation.