Arikomban enters Cumbum town, damages vehicles, one injured; TN to bring in kumkis

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Idukki: Arikomban, the rogue wild elephant relocated from Chinnakanal to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, was spotted in Cumbum town in Tamil Nadu on Saturday morning.

Arikomban damaged five vehicles in the area. During the commotion caused by the elephant's presence, one individual fell and sustained injuries while running away from it. Video footage capturing Arikomban's movement from Lower Camp (on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border) to Cumbum has emerged.

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Numerous people sustained injuries while attempting to chase away the elephant. Concurrently, the Tamil Nadu forest department has decided to bring down the kumkis from various parts of the state to Cumbum. It has strengthened surveillance.

As Arikomban moves through densely populated areas of Cumbum, concerns are rising among residents about potential threats to lives and property. Arikomban ventured into the inhabited area after a lengthy journey last night, heightening the need for swift action and continued vigilance.

According to the Kerala forest department, Arikomban has killed 7 persons and destroyed 31 buildings in the locality in the past 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, Periyar was chosen as its home.

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