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Three kumki elephants from State heading for Kerala

V.S. Palaniappan

— Photo: K. Ananthan

Fighting fit:Nanjan, one of the kumki elephants, proceeding to Kanjikode in Kerala, is being given a bath at the Kozhikamuthi camp, near Pollachi on Tuesday.

Pollachi: Three trained and tamed kumki elephants of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department camp at Kozhikamudhi in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) – Top Slip near Pollachi left for Kerala on Tuesday night to tackle the wild elephant herd that strayed out of the jungles and indulging in crop raids in Walayar range in Palakkad.

The Field Director of ATR H. Basuvaraju said that based on the request of the Kerala Forest Department, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has given directions for sending three kumki elephants.

Two-days ago, a meeting of the Forest and Revenue officials at Palakkad decided to tackle the man-animal conflict by deploying kumkis to chase the herd back into the jungles.

The herd was indulging in crop raids in Malampuzha and Puduserry areas near Kanjikode besides posing threat to human lives.

On instructions from the Tamil Nadu Government and Forest Department, the three Kumki elephants all tuskers Kalim (46), Nanjan (48), Bharani (28) are being sent along with Forest Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan to plan, co-ordinate and carry out the operation.

Kalim and Nanjan have rich experience in such operations while Bharani is the young blood to combat conflict situations, S. Thangaraj Panneerselvam Range Officer of Top Slip said.

All the three elephants were given a bath at the wild stream in Kozhikamudhi in the small hours of Tuesday and their health conditions were assessed before loading them onto the trucks heading for Kerala.

The Kozhikamudhi camp of the ATR has 13 male kumki elephants including three calves i.e., aged 9, 10 and 12 besides seven female elephants.

The kumki elephants at the Forest Department camp at Top Slip have rich experience in handling conflict situations.

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