Elephant Arikomban Kerala
This picture taken on April 29, 2023, shows forest officials transporting 'Arikomban' the wild elephant, at Idukki district in India's Kerala state. Image Credit: AFP

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu forest department has deployed 300 personnel and three ‘kumki’ elephants to capture the rogue elephant relocated from Chinnakanal in Idukki district of Kerala.

The elephant had reached Cumbum town in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district on Saturday and had created havoc by destroying two auto-rickshaws. Three people were injured when they fell down while running away from the elephant.

Three ‘kumki’ elephants are also deployed along with two veterinary doctors of the Tamil Nadu forest department and 300 forest personnel for tranquilising the elephant.

The elephant, however, has now moved into the forests and Tamil Nadu forest department authorities told IANS that the department is tracing the elephant. The senior officers said that they have made preparations to prevent the elephant from entering human settlements.

‘Arikomban’ (in Malayalam ‘Ari’ is rice and ‘komban’ is tusker and hence the name ‘Arikomban) is fond of rice and had destroyed several public distribution shops in the Chinnakanal area of Idukki district in Kerala in search of rice. At least 11 people were also trampled to death by the tusker in Chinnakanal.

On April 29, the Kerala forest department had tranquilised and captured the elephant and then relocated it to Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) around 100 km from Chinnakanal. The elephant was fixed with a radio collar before it was relocated in PTR. The Kerala and Tamil Nadu forest departments had tracked the movement of the elephant.

The elephant reached Cumbum town on Saturday and signals in the radio collar of the elephant were not providing indications which were attributed to the cloudy nature in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu.