By R. Sairam
They drove back a herd of wild elephants roaming near a village in the border district of Palakkad for nearly a month
Personnel of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, deployed in Kerala for the past two days, drove back a herd of wild elephants roaming near a village in the border district of Palakkad for nearly a month.
A team of 16 personnel of the Anaimalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) were deployed at Mundoor in the Olavakode Circle in the Palakkad Range on a request from the Kerala Forest Department. The ATR constituted a team of a forester, two forest guards and 13 anti-poaching watchers drawn from the Top slip, Manampalli, Valparai and Pollachi ranges. All of them are trained in handling wild elephants.
They were deployed at Mundoor on Friday midnight. They located the herd of four elephants by Saturday afternoon and used psychological techniques and soft sounds to drive it back into a forest five km away.
No firecracker used
A senior ATR official said no firecracker was used. The ATR personnel had developed a behavioural technique based on their experience in dealing with wild elephants. The Pollachi-Valparai region witnesses elephants straying into human habitations at least once or twice every week. The ‘Valparai’ model was perfected over the years, the official said.
The team stayed put in the village for the whole of Saturday in case the herd returned and returned to the ATR on Sunday.
Following ‘Operation Maalai,’ in which Tamil Nadu Forest Department personnel captured six wild elephants in a single operation in Tiruvannamalai district in August last year, the State announced that it would provide similar assistance to other States.