December 14, 2017
The forest department had to use two kumkis (tame elephant) from Theppakadu elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) to lead a lone male tusker into the forest. It had strayed into the human settlements in the Gudalur Taluk of Niligiris district on Thursday.
According to sources, a tusker had been found moving near farmlands and human settlements in ET Moola surroundings for the last three months. It also damaged crops and human settlements in the area.
Gudalur District Forest Officer PK Dileep said the elephant had ventured into the area because of banana cultivation there. A few weeks ago, it damaged a house. Efforts by the staff to drive it into the forests bursting crackers failed, forcing them to bring in the kumkis. Most of the people in the area were estate workers and had to go for work early in the morning.
On Thursday, with the help of kumkis Vijay and Wasim and their mahouts, the forest department personnel chased the elephant into the reserve forest.
“The kumkis along with their mahouts will be in the area for the next few days to ensure that the tusker does not venture into human habitats,” he added.