Marayoor: Chinna Thambi, the wild elephant which strayed into the villages, has been posing a challenge to the efforts of the forest officials to be tamed as a Kumki elephant. Though two Kumki elephants named Khaleem and Mariyappan were taken to tame Chinna Thambi, he was not ready to join them.
However, putting the officials in trouble, Khaleem, the kumki elephant and Chinna Thambi became friends.
The Tamil Nadu forest department ordered to take Chinna Thambi as Kumki after they failed to send it back to the forest. Meanwhile, environmentalists protested against it demanding to let the animal live in its natural habitat.
Chinna Thambi has been staying in a wild forest near Amaravathi for the past three days.
A team of 100 people under forest department were deployed to observe the wild elephant. Among them, 25 armed men were also included to control the elephant if it runs amok and stray into the human settlements. Another team of officials from forest, police, revenue, health and animal husbandry are also camping in the area.
On January 25, the forest officials nabbed the elephant from Periya Thadagam area near Coimbatore and released it to the forest area near Topslip in Valparai. But in search of its family, it started walking back covering 150 kilometres through villages within 2 days and reached Amaravathi, a village on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border.