Translocated wild elephant Arikomban enters Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary

Arikomban near Kodayar dam. Photo: Screen grab/Twitter/Supriya Sahu

Thiruvananthapuram: Wild tusker Arikomban, translocated to the Upper Kodayar area of Muthukuzhi forest near the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border from Cumbum on June 6, has entered the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary, Tamil Nadu Forest officials said.

The elephant, known for its love for rice, had suffered an injury on its trunk and seemed tired after the arduous journey to the new habitat. It had roamed around the Kodayar dam in the initial couple of days. It appeared to be adjusting to its new home.

The forest officials at the Periyar tiger reserve are closely following the signals of the radio collar attached to Arikomban’s body and handing the dtata over to their counterparts at Thiruvananthapuram to help track the wild animal.

The forest officials are keeping a strict vigil along the Neyyar forest to take precautionary measures in case the tusker crosses the border and enters the Kerala side.

The elephant earlier travelled 20 to 30 km a day with experts pointing out that it was attempting to return to its original habitat in Chinnakanal, over 400 km away from Muthukuzhi.

The Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary is a tiger habitat; it has valleys and plains between the spurs that would make the monitoring of the elephant’s movement easier.

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