Resort manager among 4 held for feeding jumbo in Tamil Nadu

Sources said that the suspects who worked at Avadale Resort used to feed a male elephant chapati and bread to entertain tourists.
The four arrested from Avadale Resort in Masinagudi
The four arrested from Avadale Resort in Masinagudi(Photo | Express)

NILGIRIS: Singara forest range officials in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) have arrested four resort staff members for feeding an elephant chapati and bread at Achakkarai.

The arrested were identified as resort manager, R Anirudh Avasthi (26), a native of Chhattisgarh, kitchen assistant M Dhirav Kumar Rang (33), a native of Tripura, cook, S K Ajmavullah (25), a native of West Bengal and room boy S David Riyang (19), native of Tripura.

Sources said that the suspects who worked at Avadale Resort used to feed a male elephant chapati and bread to entertain tourists.

Based on the directions from MTR deputy director buffer P Arun Kumar, a team led by Singara forest range officer John Peter was formed to investigate the incident.

Peter said, “During the investigation, it was confirmed that the suspects used to feed a wild elephant chapati and bread between 11 am and 12 pm when it visited the resort.”

Sources said that this is not the first time there have been reports of people feeding wild animals, especially elephants in the surroundings of Masinagudi. There were incidents where wild elephants like Rivaldo frequently visited human habitats as people in the surroundings used to feed it. To reverse its food habit, the forest department officials had to keep Rivaldo in a Krall and provide plant-based food as people used to feed it bananas.

Arun Kumar told TNIE, “We are warning people and asking them not to feed the animals because it will change their habit drastically and there is a high chance that the animal would get addicted to food consumed by humans as it contains salt, sugar, and other spices.”

A case was also registered against the suspects under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and they were produced before Judicial Magistrate Gudalur and were remanded to judicial custody for 15 days. 

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