Balraj, Arikomban | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Theni: A Cumbum resident, who sustained injuries while attempting to escape wild tusker Arikomban’s attack, died on Tuesday morning. The deceased has been identified as Balraj, a native of Theni, Tamil Nadu. He had been undergoing treatment at Theni Medical College Hospital.
As per reports, Balraj suffered injuries on Saturday when Arikomban rampaged through the town area vandalising vehicles. Following this, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department had issued an order to dart the jumbo and shift it to Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve with the help of Kumki elephants.
On Sunday, a team of forest officials and darting experts attempted to capture Arikomban, but the mission had to be dropped midway after the jumbo retreated into Koothanachi forest. However, the tusker once again made its way into residential areas the other day and later Kerala-Tamil Nadu forest departments beefed up surveillance in the area.
Meanwhile, Kerala Forest Minister AK Saseendran on Monday said that the Tamil Nadu government has been trying to ward off the elephant into the forest without darting it. “Firing tranquilliser shots repeatedly is not good for the animal. According to their (Tamil Nadu forest department) current stance, Arikomban will be darted only if there is no other way,” he added.
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.