Tusker Kattayan returns to Vilamundi village, 2 kumkis ready to capture him

A team led by ranger P Ganesh Pandian, who rushed to the spot, chased the tusker back into the forest after an 8-hour operation.
Representational image (Photo | Express)
Representational image (Photo | Express)

ERODE: Two kumkis are kept ready to capture a tusker popularly known as Kattayan that has been intruding into villages at Vilamundi in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR). According to sources, villagers spotted the lone tusker inside a banana plantation in Ayyampalayam on Wednesday morning and informed forest officials. The elephant damaged some banana crops and also fences and irrigation pipes of the farmlands. The farmers then informed the forest department. 

A team led by ranger P Ganesh Pandian, who rushed to the spot, chased the tusker back into the forest after an 8-hour operation. But forest officials expect the animal would come back anytime soon and are on alert.
“It was only after we chased away the elephant that we realised it was Kattayan, who was captured in Kadambur on July 23 and released in Mangalapatti forest. It entered Bhavanisagar Dam Park on August 1. After that and was driven back into the forest. It has come back towards human habitations through the Moyar river,” a forest officer said.

“We plan to capture him again. For this, two Kumki elephants Kapildev and Muthu were brought from ATR in Coimbatore on Thursday evening. We are waiting for an official order,” he added. “Kattayan, who more than 35 years old, is suffering from poor vision. We found that the left eye was completely affected. Right eye sight is also slightly affected. Considering its health, we plan to take it to the elephant camp,” another higher official said.

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