CHENNAI: Allaying fears that the government was planning to turn Chinna Thambi, which entered into human habitations and was tranquilised and transported to Top-Slip hills a couple of days ago, but allegedly returned to the habitation, into a Kumki elephant, the State government told a division bench of the Madras High Court that it would not do so.
When a PIL petition from Arun Prasanna praying for a direction to the Forest department not to torture Chinna Thambi came up on Monday, Advocate-General Vijay Narayan told a bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad that there was no such proposal to turn Chinna Thambi into a Kumki. On the other hand, the department is taking necessary steps to send Chinna Thambi, reportedly roaming about the Amravathi forest area, back into the forest, he added.
Observing that Chinna Thambi should not be put to any physical discomfort, the bench directed the Principal Conservator of Forest to file a counter to the PIL, which, among other things, sought to restrain the department from capturing, taming, tranquilising or harming wild elephants, which strayed into habitations. The bench said that the intention of the government appeared to be that the elephant should live in its natural habitat. The people’s apprehension should also be taken note of.
The Principal Conservator of Forest, who was present in the court, submitted that it would not be possible just to capture and tame a wild elephant into a Kumki. The matter will be taken up again on February 11.
The petitioner also prayed for framing suitable guidelines for translocation of such elephants and systematically study the ‘man-elephant conflict’ in forest and surrounding areas and take steps for mitigation through alternative methods focused on conservancy of wildlife.
Artificial pond created for the tusker
TIRUPUR: With Chinna Thambi still camped out in the area for the third day, the Forest department has created an artificial pond at Krishnapuram near Madathukulam in Udumalai for his benefit. Despite several efforts made by the department staff, the tusker has refused to move out of the area
The officials, with kumkis Kaleem and Mariappan stationed there, were awaiting further instructions from the top brass. Meanwhile, Kaleem and Chinna Thambi have been in each other’s company since Sunday evening. The two instantly bonded and were spotted having playing together, said an official. “Chinna Thambi has gotten used to the place -- grazing sugarcane fields, taking baths in the pond nearby as and when he pleases,” the official reported