Arikomban on the banks of a water body in Tamil Nadu forest | Videograb: Twitter/SupriyaSahuIAS
A Tamil Nadu civil service officer on Wednesday evening shared what seems to be the latest visual of the wild elephant Arikomban that was translocated from Cumbum to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli.
In the 34-second video, the elephant plucks grass from the banks of a waterbody and washing it thoroughly before consuming it.
“Cleans the grass well in tranquil waters before eating. Looks like soaking in the calm and beauty of his new home which we pray should be forever. Time will tell,” wrote Supriya Sahu, IAS, while sharing the video on Twitter.
Supriya is the additional chief secretary to the department of environment, climate change and forests, government of Tamil Nadu.
The rice-eating lone rogue tusker Arikomban was darted and captured by Tamil Nadu forest department officials on Monday. It was released into the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli later. The elephant was provided with medical care before being released into the dense forests.
Arikomban, which had been posing a threat to Cumbum town residents resulting in the death of one native, was captured around 12.30 am on Monday. Following that, the forest authorities began efforts to translocate the animal to Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
According to the Kerala forest department, Arikomban has killed 7 persons and destroyed 31 buildings in Idukki district in three months. The elephant got its name ‘Arikomban’ as it raided ration shops and houses for rice ('ari' in Malayalam). Though Kerala planned to keep the elephant in captivity, animal rights activists challenged it in the high court and the court ordered its relocation instead. Eventually, it was captured and released to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, from where it entered Tamil Nadu.