KOTTAYAM: The officers at the Munnar Forest Division on Saturday commenced efforts to drive off rogue elephants from populated areas with the help of kumki elephants (trained elephants), being brought from Tamil Nadu. According to officers, a rogue elephant which created frequent trouble at Marayur area, was driven off to Thoovanam area in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary by evening.
“We deployed two kumki elephants at Pattalam Moola near Karayur on Saturday by 11 am and spotted a wild tusker by noon. With the help of local tribal people, kumkies drove away the tusker to Thoovanam by evening. Since, Thoovanam is a strip, the wild elephant cannot come back to populated areas easily,” said Job J Neriamparambil, Marayur Range officer.
The Forest authorities will continue the operations with kumkies in the coming days to make Munnar area completely free from the menace of wild elephants. The Forest authorities expedited the efforts against elephant menace in the wake of a wild tusker goring to death a visually challenged girl at Kookkad recently.
Around 33 people lost their lives in the attack by elephants and several people were critically injured.
Wild elephants claimed three lives this year and destroyed several house and farmlands. Munnar DFO Narendra Babu and Marayur DFO Afsal Ahammed are heading the operations to drive away the wild elephants. The operations were being done as per the directions of three veterinary doctors Jayakumar, Abdul Razaq, from Kerala, and Manoharan from Tamil Nadu. The first day’s operations were wound up by 7 pm and will resume on Sunday morning. The kumkis will be brought to Chinnakanal on Sunday.