Arikomban goes on rampage again; prohibitory orders in Meghamalai, tourists restricted

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Meghamalai: The Tamil Nadu government has imposed prohibitory orders in Meghamalai and restricted tourist flow due to the recent attacks by a rogue elephant named Arikomban in the region. Arikomban was originally translocated from Chinnakanal to the Periyar Tiger Reserve but has since strayed into the inhabited area of Meghamalai in Theni district.

For the past two days, the elephant has been camping in Meghamalai and has caused significant damage, including ransacking an agricultural land and damaging a vehicle belonging to the forest department.

When forest officials attempted to chase off the elephant after it destroyed a banana plantation, the animal turned towards them and destroyed their vehicle.

Deputy director of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and other higher officials will visit Theni soon and make attempts to bring back the tusker to the Periyar sanctuary. The forest department in Tamil Nadu has deployed a team of 120 members to chase the elephant into the forest. Curfew has been declared from 8 am on Saturday here.

Though a radio collar has been affixed to the elephant’s neck, the information regarding the elephant’s movement could not be transferred to the forest department in Tamil Nadu promptly. The officials said the unfavourable weather conditions cause interruption in getting signals.

Earlier, Arikomban’s visuals from the surroundings of Manaloor estate had gone viral on social media. The visuals showed the elephant returning to Periyar Tiger Reserve after drinking water from this region.

Meanwhile, a few dailies in Tamil Nadu on Friday reported the attacks unleashed by Arikomban in the human settlements of Meghamalai region, where the plantation workers reside. The elephant has reportedly damaged the doors of the residences here.

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