TN Forest Dept beefs up surveillance as Arikomban heads to Kanyakumari 

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Arikomban | Photo |,@TNDIPRNEWS

Nagercoil: Surveillance has been beefed up in the Kanyakumari forest borders after radio collar signals confirmed the presence of lone tusker ‘Arikomban’ in the area on Thursday night. A 15-member team has been tasked to monitor the Kodayar forest borders in three shifts, said Ilayaraja, Kanyakumari district forest officer (DFO).

“If Arikomban enters border areas, then measures are intact to shift the tusker back to the forest,” he added.

Earlier, disruptions in the radio collar signals on Thursday morning had raised concern over the elephant's movement and the forest officials decided to carry out direct inspections inside the forest. However, the signals were restored by evening.

At the time, Arikomban was located around 100 metres away from the Kanyakumari forest border. Following this, forest authorities decided to increase surveillance in the region.

If the jumbo enters residential areas in Kanyakumari, then it could pose a serious threat to the people. Representatives of various organisations, including tribals in the districts, had earlier expressed concern over the possible elephant attack.

At present, 60 forest officials from various sectors such as Ambasamudram, Kalakkad and Kanyakumari are monitoring the movement of the tusker.

Arikomban, which rampaged through the residential areas in Idukki’s Chinnakanal, was translocated to Periyar Tiger Reserve on April 29. Later, it strayed into Cumbum town on May 27 and allegedly attacked a man in Theni who later died.

Subsequently, it was darted and shifted to Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials, earlier this month.

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