Thu, 05 Oct 2023

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 31 (ANI): Tamil Forest Department has informed that all efforts were being taken to ensure public safety while handling the situation arising out of the movement of rogue elephant 'Arikomban' in Tamil Nadu's Cumbum town and adjoint areas.

According to an official release, law and order are maintained through the proclamation of Section 144 in the Cumbum Municipality area. "District Collector, Theni is closely monitoring the situation. Despite the complex situation, all efforts are being taken to ensure the safety of the public while ensuring the safety of the elephant as well," the statement said.

The release further stated that the state government has constituted a committee headed by the field director and chief conservator of Forests, SMTR comprising the deputy director, Megamalai division; district forest officer, Theni and deputy director, Srivilliputhur division, assistant conservator of Forests, Megamalai division and assistant conservator of Forests, Forest Protection Squad, Madurai to translocate the elephant deep inside the forests.

"A team of Veterinarians supported by 16 elephant trackers from Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves including local elephant trackers of Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve are monitoring the movement of the elephant. The elephant is also tracked through a radio collar," the statement read.

It added that three Kumki elephants -- 'Suyambu' and 'Muthu' from Topslip Elephant camp and 'Udhayan' from Mudumalai elephant camps -- are on the spot to support the operation.

Further, according to the release, the Field Director, SMTR has formed four core teams to operate on two shifts to monitor the elephant movement.

"Separate teams for logistics, Kumki handling, resource mobilization and other requirements are formed to operate round the clock. An exclusive team is monitoring the safe passage of elephant with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to prevent electrocution," it added.

A central control room has been set up at the Cumbum Forest Range Office campus to ensure overall coordination, the statement said, adding that a total of 160 forest personnel from Theni district and 31 forest personnel from Srivilliputhur Division, ATR, MTR, Hosur and Coimbatore are deployed on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court, in a writ petition, passed an order for the capture and relocation of 'Arikomban', which is aged 35 years.

The tusker was translocated by the Kerala Forest Department in the Periyar Tiger Reserve on April 29, on the interstate border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. (ANI)

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