Thrissur: The recent relocation of an ailing wild elephant to the Siruvani forests appears to have not gone down well with those living along the forest fringes. The move evoked sharp reactions from farmers in Palakkayam, Inchikunnu and Kalladikode in Palakkad, who have warned of massive protests, said a forest official. “The people are now under constant fear of being attacked by the tusk-less male elephant, known for its notorious moods”, he said.
The 27-year-old pachyderm, which reportedly trampled a tribesman to death recently, had been rampaging through the crops and spreading panic in the villages of Wayanad, for the last couple of years. As the animal was found to be suffering from an abdominal tumor, it was shifted to Palakkad on May 24 for better treatment.
“The actual plan was to take the animal to the Parambikulam reserve forests, but the Tamil Nadu Wildlife department refused to co-operate with us citing its dangerous antecedents. Hence we transported it to Siruvani, a forest with a larger fodder base that would prevent it from straying out in search of food and water,” the official added.
T.C. Thyagaraj, Divisional Forest officer, Mannarkad, said the elephant was released after proper medical care. Besides, it had a collar ID to help the officials track its movement. “As of now, the animal appears to have settled around the Siruvani dam and the grasslands nearby. Most of these villages around the range are electric-fenced to prevent animals from straying out. We have deployed our staff around the other areas to redirect the animal if it comes out,” he said.