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: Rogue tusker 'Arikomban' which was tranquilised and captured from Cumbum in Tamil Nadu's Theni district on Monday, has been spotted near the Kodayar dam.

The elephant which was first captured by the Kerala forest department on April 29 and relocated to the Periyar Tiger Force (PTR) had ventured into the Cumbum town. Tragically in the milieu of locating him in the town, a security officer Palraj fell off his two-wheeler and later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

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This led to the Tamil Nadu forest department deciding to capture the tusker. A strong 150-member forest department officials drawn from across the state were monitoring its movement. He was finally tranquilised and captured on Monday and released in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve area.

A radio collar was fitted after 'Arikomban' was captured in Kerala and its movement is being monitored through the signals.

Tamil Nadu forest department Additional Chief Secretary, Supriya Sahu in a tweet said, "Cleans the grass well in tranquil waters before eating. Looks like soaking in the calm and beauty of his new home which we pray should be forever. Time will tell #Arikomban # TNForest #elephants".

Tamil Nadu forest department is closely monitoring the animal with a team of ten forest watchers, four forest range officers, two Deputy directors deployed for this. Senior veterinarians of the Tamil Nadu forest department are also in the forest department team.

Arikomban presence near the Kodayar dam has been confirmed by the Kerala forest department.