Arikomban acclimatised to new habitat, part of elephant herd: TN forest dept

A photograph of Arikomban claimed to be taken on July 15. Photo: Twitter/@supriyasahuias

Rajakumari: Arikomban, the wild tusker translocated from Idukki's Chinnakanal four months ago, has acclimatised to its new habitat.

The lone tusker from Chinnakanal is now part of a herd comprising 10 elephants including two calves.

The elephant currently lives in the Kodayar forest range inside Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). According to Tamil Nadu forest department, Arikomban has stayed here since June. Kodayar forest area is in Agasthyarkoodam on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

The Tamil Nadu forest department has reduced the number of watchers deployed to monitor the tusker as it has adapted to the herd of elephants.

The department has, however, not ruled out the possibility of Arikomban returning to Kerala.

Arikomban's capture from Chinnakanal on April 29 had caught national attention. The tusker had terrorised the region with frequent raids in human settlements. The elephant had reportedly killed humans.

The tusker was named Arikomban after its penchant for rice, which is a portmanteau of two Malayalam words, ari (rice) and komban (tusker). Initially, the Kerala forest department translocated Arikomban to the Periyar tiger reserve but it found its way to settlements in Tamil Nadu's Cumbum. Later, the TN government launched a second translocation mission and shifted Arikomban to KMTR on June 5.

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