TN releases Arikomban in Muthukkuli forest: Reports

Injured tusker was released to the deep forest after proper medical care. Photo: Manorama

Idukki: After a day-long uncertainty, the Tamil Nadu forest department released wild tusker Arikomban from captivity after providing proper medical care and examining its health condition. Tamil Nadu chief wildlife warden Sreenivas R Reddy confirmed that the elephant has been translocated to Muthukkuli forest near Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, reported Manorama News. But neither the Tamil Nadu government nor the forest department officially confirmed this report.

Muthukkuli forest is reportedly a hilly range close to Agastyamala near the Kerala forest range.

The elephant was held captive on the wildlife ambulance of Tamil Nadu forest from Monday. The visuals aired on TV channels revealed that the elephant suffered a deep wound on its trunk.

On Monday evening, Tamil Nadu forest department took the elephant to Manimutharu forest area of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tirunelveli after tranquilising it. But the translocation was halted after Tamil Nadu High Court issued an order to freeze the mission.

Arikomban was held captive for more than 24 hours. Photo: Reju Arnold/ Manorama

The task force made the elephant travel 306 kilometres on a wildlife ambulance after capturing it with two tranquiliser darts from Poosanampatti area in Theni. Tamil Nadu forest department has been facing criticism for the cruel treatment of the wild animal which is injured and unhealthy.

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