Crop damage: Tamil Nadu forest department captures Makhna elephant; third in last six months

The animal has been captured as it was frequently damaging crops in the surroundings of Saralapathy.
The official said that they are planning to fix a Radio Collar to monitor the movement (Photo | Express)
The official said that they are planning to fix a Radio Collar to monitor the movement (Photo | Express)

COIMBATORE: After ten days of struggle, the Tamil Nadu forest department has successfully tranquilised and captured a crop raider Makhna elephant at Saralapathy near Pollachi in the early hours on Monday. 

A veterinarian team consisting of A Sugumar of Coimbatore, E Vijayaragavan of Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Sridhar of Sathymangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and Rajesh Kumar of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) administrated injections to the animal at 4.30 am when the animal was roaming in a flat terrain near to the coconut fields and a hill at Saralapathy.

The official explained that soon after sedation was given, a few tribes who are experts in handling such animals had tied the animal's legs using a rope to keep the animal under control with the help of Kumki elephants. 

"The animal has been captured as it was frequently damaging crops in the surroundings of Saralapathy. The animal did not create any disturbance during today's capturing operation and it cooperated well. It will be released at Chinnakallar near Valparai," said an official of the forest department 

The animal is captured for the third time in the last six months period on this year. Initially, it was relocated to Varagaliyar in the Ulanthy Forest range from Dharmapuri in February for the first time. However, the animal came out of the forest and reached the city limits in Perur by walking close to 90 km. After capturing it in Perur, subsequently, it was released deep inside the forest in Manombolly for the second time. However, again the animal managed to come out of the forest and reached Saralapathy where it was caught for the third time. 

The official said that they are planning to fix a Radio Collar to monitor the movement by removing the existing one which is defunct. 

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