Forest Dept renames PT 7 as Dhoni, to train him as a kumki elephant

Rapid Response Team officials spray water on PT 7 before moving the elephant into the cage. Photo: Manorama.

Palakkad: The rogue elephant till now known as PT 7, short for Palakkad Tusker 7, has got a new name. The jumbo was tranquilised by the Forest Department on Sunday morning and moved into a cage by afternoon. The tusker, who unleashed terror in the Dhoni area of the district and thus made the place famous, will now be called Dhoni.


The Forest Department said the tusker will be trained to be a kumki elephant (Trained captive jumbos used to trap wild elephants).


After days of trying to capture the elephant, the forest department finally managed to tranquilise it between 7.10am and 7.15am on Sunday. 

The elephant was wreaking havoc in the area for many days.

The 75-member mission that started around 4am today was led by forest chief veterinary surgeon Dr Arun Zachariah. 


The elephant was blindfolded, chained and was mounted onto a lorry with the help of kumki elephants (Trained captive jumbos used to trap wild elephants) Vikram, Bharathan and Surendran. 

The mission to capture PT 7 was cancelled on Saturday as the elephant continued to camp in a hilly area.

The elephant P T 7 became a terror for Dhoni residents since July, 2022. Photo: Manorama.

The local people also resorted to brief protests, for delay in capturing the animal.

However, from Sunday morning, the Rapid Response Team could manage to contain its movements within a zone of observation, to effectively dart the animal.  

Officials said the tusker will now be trained to be a kumki elephant. 

The wild elephant PT 7 was tranquilised while it was between the forest area of Mundoor and Dhoni. The elephant is blindfolded and under the control of Kumki elephants, now. Photo: Manorama.

A temporary solution
Manorama News reported that alongside expressing happiness about tranquilising the elephant, the local people opined that the issue of wild animals' repeatedly encroaching into inhabited areas won't end with PT 7.

A terror since July 2022
The wild elephant became a terror for Dhoni residents since July 8, 2022, when it killed a native named Sivaraman, who was out on the day for morning walk. His body was found pushed down the dirt, and the Forest Department found that it was done by PT 7.

The elephant, which often ventured about 4.5 km outside the forest area, has destroyed acres of agriculture. A local tapping worker named Joseph broke his arms while trying to run away after sighting the elephant. Many other local people have come in its way and had a narrow escape.

While the call to capture PT 7 intensified, the elephant ventured outside the forest again on December 12 and went on a rampage in the area for six days.

Though the Forest Department decided not to tranquilise it initially, it had to go back on its stand after protests by local people.

When the elephant named PM 2 recently strayed into Bathery town in Wayanad, the Forest Department had to focus on it first. The very next day, PT 7 went berserk again, thus forcing the authorities to decide on tranquilise it.  

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