TN forest dept trying to capture killer elephant 'Karuppan'
The Tamil Nadu forest department is on a mission to capture a wild elephant 'Karuppan' that trampled a farmer to death in Perumugai village in Erode district on May 4.
The farmer , P. Sitheeswaran along with three others, was working in a banana plantation when the elephant chased them. While the others managed to escape, the elephant caught Sitheeswaran and trampled him to death. It stood near the body for over an hour and did not allow anyone to approach it.
The elephant was captured on April 17 in the Thalavadi hills, Erode and was released in the interior forest area at Thattakari forest range on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border in the Erode forest division. It was released without fixing a radio collar on its neck.
'Karuppan' was tracked by the Erode forest division officials for a few days but could not be traced after it moved to the Kadambur forest range and the Anthiyur forest range.
The elephant, according to Anthiyur forest range officials, was seen in the Bhavani river area and later a sugarcane field.
The officials are using public address systems to warn the villagers about the presence of the animal and not to go near it.
Anthiyur MLA, G. Venkitachalam has had a meeting with the forest officials and asked the public not to chase it out of the sugarcane field as the forest department has constituted a 60- member team to capture it.
Another wild tusker, 'Arikomban' was captured by the Kerala forest department from the Chinnakanal range in Idukki after it killed people, destroyed crops and damaged shops and houses. The animal was fitted with a radio collar and is being monitored at the border of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu forest area. It had ventured into Tamil Nadu and the people there had driven it into the forest.
The Tamil Nadu forest department is monitoring the movements of this elephant also in coordination with the Kerala forest department.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department told IANS that monitoring 'Arikomban' was relatively easier as it was fitted with a radio collar and its movements were transferred to the Kerala department through GPS.
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