Arikomban spotted near residential area; Darting team, forest dept on guard 

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Arikomban in Cumbum | Photo: Mathrubhumi / Sreejith P Raj

Theni: The notorious rice-consuming elephant 'Arikomban', which was relocated from Chinnakanal to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, has once again made its way into residential areas. Recent radio collar signals indicate that the elephant is currently in close proximity to the Koothanachiyar forest boundary, a mere 1.5 kilometers away from human settlements.

Following this, the Kerala-Tamil Nadu forest departments have beefed up surveillance in the area.

According to local residents, Arikomban had ventured into a plantation in Koothanachiyar on Sunday night. The forest department has also confirmed the presence of the elephant in the region. However, the jumbo reportedly retreated back to the forest later.

Meanwhile, restrictions have been imposed to prevent people from entering into the area, where Arikomban was spotted the other day. The authorities have banned tourists from venturing into Suruli waterfalls. The labourers in the region have also been halted by the forest department and police.

However, the Tamil Nadu forest department is planning to dart the tusker only if it enters inhabited areas. The task force to carry out the mission is already stationed in the region. In addition, a 150-member team of forest guards has been arranged to monitor the tusker.

Arikomban, which posed a threat to the residents of Chinnakanal in Idukki, was translocated to Periyar Tiger Reserve on April 29. Following which, the jumbo went on roaming around various regions including Megamalai in Tamil Nadu.

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