How Tamil Nadu's mission Arikomban stands out compared to Kerala

Veterinary doctors examined the elephant after it was made to board the truck. Photo: Manorama

Cumbum: Mission Arikomban took one and a half months of planning in Chinnakkanal, while it was just 10 days in Tamil Nadu. At Chinnakkanal, the Kerala Forest Department had shooed away Chakka Komban (another wild tusker which used to raid the inhabited areas for jackfruits) and other wild elephants for its preparations to capture wild elephant Arikomban.

Owing to the many legal tangles and the geographic conditions in Chinnakkanal, Mission Arikomban was delayed in Kerala.

In the plainlands of Cumbum in Tamil Nadu, Arikomban did not got a chance to escape and hide away. The moonlight on the day before Monday, a full moon day, was also helpful in finding the tusker at night and tranquilising it.

Tamil Nadu's Meghamalai wildlife sanctuary Deputy Director S Anand was in charge of the Arikomban mission on Monday. Chinnamannur Range Officer T Shivaji, a medical team of doctors Dr Vijayaraghavan, Dr Rajesh, and Dr Kalaivanan, headed by Dr Prakash, besides more than 200 forest department personnel, participated in the mission.

Veterinary doctors examined the elephant after it was made to board the truck. The vehicle started only after dressing the wound on the elephant's trunk.

In Chinnakkanal, there was a huge convoy of vehicles to escort the tusker. At Cumbum, it was not there though. On the way, the vehicle was stopped for some time. As the day’s heat got intense, the vehicle was stopped at Thirunelveli and Kovilpatti. Water was poured on the tusker’s body to cool it before resuming the journey.

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