August 29, 2018
Image credit : Illustrative image
COIMBATORE: The Forest Department on Tuesday conducted a trial flight of a drone to monitor the movements of elephants in the Coimbatore forest range.
The drone, fitted with a camera, captured the movement of a herd of elephants moving in Mangarai. Officials drove the herd back into the reserve forest with the help of the sound that came from the drone.
According to District Forest Officer D. Venkatesh the drone was tested from a patta land near the forest boundary in Mangarai. “More than nine forest officials will be trained to operate the drone. We have received only one drone and it will be used depending on the needs in the forest area. It will help monitor the movement of animals,” he added.
The State Government had allotted a drone worth Rs. 5 lakh to the Coimbatore Forest Division to monitor elephant movements and to prevent man-animal conflicts. The drone arrived 15 days back.
Talking to media persons, Chief Conservator of Forests Deepak Srivastava said the Coimbatore Forest Division had reported several man-animal conflicts and the department had been taking steps to prevent such conflicts.
“We can monitor the movement of all type of animals in the forest and can monitor the forest. We will use the drone to monitor and chase elephants back into the forests. If this succeeds, we will use the drone whenever needed,” he added.
The drone was being first used for this purpose in the State in the Coimbatore Forest division. “If wild elephants are disturbing the livelihood of the people, then we will take steps to shift elephants from one place to another or will send them to elephant camps after getting permission from higher authorities,” Deepak said.