Tusker Arikompan released in Periyar Tiger Reserve

Wild elephants camped near the area where tusker Arikompan camped at Vilakk near Chinnakanal in Idukki on Sunday. , Photo Credit: Jomon Pampavalley

After several hours of efforts, the wild tusker, locally called Arikompan, was successfully translocated to an area near Seniyaroda under Mullakudy forest section under Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Thekkady in the early hours of Sunday.

According to Arun RS, Chief Conservator of Forests, High Range Circle, the elephant was released inside the forest around 5 am. The elephant is roaming within a radius of 3 km in Seniyaroda area,” said Mr. Arun.

“The animals will not have any harmful effect of the wounds. The forest department will keep a close watch on the activities of the tuskers,” said Mr. Arun.

Kottayam Divisional Forest Officer N. Rajesh said the vet provided an antidote to help the elephant recover from tranquilisation. “After leaving, the elephant slowly went inside the forest,” Mr. Rajesh said.

flock to the darting field

On Sunday morning, a herd of 12 wild elephants, including calves, camped near the area where Arikompan attacked. “The herd reached the spot around midnight and the residents heard the sound of wild elephants in the area since midnight. We suspect that elephants have reached the spot in search of Arikompan,” said a resident.

The darting arena near Vilakk in Chinnakkanal turned tourist spot on Sunday. A large number of tourists visited the spot and took selfies and photographs from the darting point.

After the successful mission, Kumki (trained elephant) was shifted to 301 Colony area on Saturday evening. “The Kumki elephants will be taken back to the Muthanga elephant camp within two days,” said a forest department official.

Meanwhile, Arikompan was warmly welcomed by the tribals at the PTR in Thekkady. The tribal people of Mannakudi and Paliakkudi in the PTR welcomed the elephant by performing special pujas. The tribals said that according to their tradition, the arrival of the animals was celebrated with special worship and offerings.