Arikomban | File Photo: Sreejith Raj / Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The rice-eating lone tusker Arikomban, which was darted and captured by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials, was released into Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli on Tuesday. The elephant will be sent to the dense forests after being provided with proper medical care, officials said.
As per reports, the elephant was released in an uninhabited region in the area after treating the wounds on its trunk and leg. According to the assumption of forest officials, the health of the jumbo remains satisfactory for the time being.
Arikomban, which had been posing a threat to the residents of Cumbum town, was captured around 12.30 am on Monday. Following that, the forest authorities began efforts to translocate the animal to Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
The tusker was brought to the reserve around 5 pm the other day via Cumbum, Theni, Madurai and Tirunelveli route. Media and public were allowed entry only till the check post at Manimuthar Dam. A team of police and forest officials had camped in the area.
The Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located near to the forest boundary of Thiruvananthapuram. It also shares a border with Neyyar and Peppara wildlife sanctuaries in the district and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam. The forest area is the second largest tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu.
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. According to the Kerala forest department, it has killed seven people in Idukki.
Subsequently, the Tamil Nadu government formed a team of experienced forest officials under the field director of Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve (SMTR) to capture the wild tusker.