POLLACHI: The wild tusker Chinnathambi that was darted and relocated to Varagaliyaru in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve from Coimbatore along with a radio collar, entered a human habitat near Anamalai in Pollachi in the early hours of Thursday. Forest guards are now trying to ease it out from there.
According to Forest department sources, the two wild tuskers Vinayagan and Chinnathambi were tranquilized and relocated from Coimbatore forest division recently following political pressure after illegal brick chamber owners from the Thadagam valley and Kanuvai with some farmers charging that the elephants were ‘crop raiders’. They also besieged the office of the wildlife warden and PCCF (principal chief conservator of forests) in Chennai, demanding relocation.
Following the PCCF order for relocating the two, Vinayagan was tranquilized a month ago and released in dense forests inside the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve along with a radio collar; Chinnathambi was captured, its tusks damaged while loading it into a truck on January 25 after darting.
It was relocated and released in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in a place called Varagaliyaaru. Meanwhile on Wednesday, forest department officials were disappointed after tracking Chinnathambi with the help of the radio frequency signals when they came to know he had begun heading towards a human habitat.
The elephant entered Kottoor-Malayandipattinam near Anamalai village in Pollachi at around 1.30 am on Thursday.
People panicked after noticing the elephant walking along the roads of Kottoor around 6am today.
On receiving information, forest staff from Pollachi range rushed to the spot and confirmed the elephant to be Chinnathambi on seeing the radio collar around its neck.
“A team of 50 AP watchers along with the rapid action team are involved in the driving operation,” said the Anamalai Tiger Reserve deputy director, Mr. Ganesan....