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Will jumbo Rivaldo be allowed to stay in wild?

At a time when conservationists and elephant biologists across the country are looking at the rewilding of Rivaldo as a new ray of hope, a PIL seeks recapture of the elephant.

Published: 13th August 2021 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2021 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

wild tusker Rivaldo, chilly fence

Local conservationist putting up a chilli fence in Rivaldo's passage blocking its entry into the villages (L); Rivaldo moving in the wild. (Photos | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: At a time when conservationists and elephant biologists across the country are looking at the rewilding of Rivaldo as a new ray of hope, a PIL seeks recapture of the elephant. The PIL S Muralidharan, founder trustee of Indian Center of Animal Rights and Education (INCARE), before the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu says the elephant got habituated to humans and can’t be forced into the wild. 

A junior counsel, who represented the forest department, failed to explain the elaborate rehabilitation measures being undertaken for Rivaldo and sought time till Friday. The rewilding of Rivaldo was a first-of-its-kind attempt to release a tusker that was captured and kept inside a kraal for three months. 

Chief Wildlife Warden Shekar Kumar Niraj told Express that although Rivaldo has returned to his favourite grazing ground near Vazhaithottam in Sigur plateau, the tusker was seen interacting closely with other wild elephants. 

“His movement is being tracked on an hourly basis with the help of a radio collar. And multiple teams of anti-depredation squads (to stop attacking or plundering stored grains), anti-poaching watchers and kumki elephants are on hand to ensure Rivaldo does not come in contact with people. Very soon, Rivaldo will become a completely wild,” he said.



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