Mission Arikomban: Attempt to isolate tusker from herd fails; efforts underway 

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Idukki (Chinnakanal): The operation to capture the rice-loving rogue elephant ‘Arikomban’, which has been terrorising the residents of Chinnakanal and neighbouring areas, is underway. Although the mission team attempted to isolate the tusker from its herd of nine elephants using firing techniques, unfortunately their attempts were unsuccessful.

As per latest reports, Arikomban is roaming around the area and remains untraceable. Initially, the wild jumbo was spotted near Cement Palam in Chinnakanal. However, it has reportedly moved towards a woodland and the officials are attempting to trace its location.

‘Mission Arikomban’, led by Chief Veterinary Officer Arun Zachariah, began around 4 am on Friday. In the wake of the mission, a curfew has been declared in the area since 4:30 am and tourists have also been restricted in the location. Reportedly, the climate is fit for the operation and around 150 people, led by Zachariah, have entered the forest.

“If there is no rain, then we hope to complete the mission by around 11 am,” said Kottayam DFO N Rajesh. There are four ‘kumki’ elephants (captive pachyderms used in operations for trapping and capturing other elephants) involved in the mission too.

As per reports, the plan is to dart the tusker with tranquiliser near the Cement Palam region. Meanwhile, the forest department has not yet revealed the translocation details as the Kerala High Court had asked the authorities to maintain confidentiality.

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