Tusker translocated to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve being monitored


A 15-year-old elephant that had problematic interactions with humans in Dharmapuri was captured and translocated to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) where it was released on Thursday morning.

The tusker was captured due to intense pressure by people, who had wanted the elephant to be captured as it had allegedly been responsible for the death of two persons in Dharmapuri, and was also known to enter human habitations and destroy crops.

Deputy Director of MTR (Buffer Zone), L.C.S.Srikanth, said that forest officials in Dharmapuri were consulted about the behavior of the elephant prior to its release. The elephant had been entering fields and raiding crops as it had sustained an injury to its mouth, possibly due to biting into a country-made explosive.

He said that the two people it had killed had also died due to accidental encounters. โ€œThe elephant is quite docile, and is a small tusker. We hope that by releasing him in a remote part of the tiger reserve, we can discourage him from trying to enter human habitations,โ€ said Mr. Srikanth.

Forest department officials continue to monitor the animal and also the nature of its injuries.

Field Director of MTR, K.K.Kaushal, said that the animal was released in Congress Mattam area and that the nearest village was almost 12 kilometers away. He said that forest department staff will keep tabs on the animal and ensure that no problematic interactions with humans occur after its release into the tiger reserve.

Translocation efforts have had mixed results in MTR in recent years. While Vinayagan, another tusker from Coimbatore was released and continues to survive in the region, another elephant, captured in Hosur and released in the tiger reserve was captured later by the forest department in Karnataka due to it raiding crops there. The animal was made into a captive elephant. Last year, another elephant that was released in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve died shortly after its release due to suffering a fatal fall when it crossed over into Mudumalai.

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