POLLACHI: The alleged former crop raider elephant ‘Chinnathambi’ that was captured and relocated from Thadagam valley here has been trained at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) camp and transformed into a captive elephant.
‘Chinnathambi’, once a wild tusker, was identified with behavioural changes by experts since he always remained alone, and close to human habitats in the Coimbatore forest division, instead of mingling with its herd.
On the one hand, brick chamber owners in Thadagam valley, allegedly spread rumours, prompting a section of farmers to protest against the elephant’s presence, and demanded officials to relocate it as they frequently saw the animal visiting spots where they regularly went for sand smuggling. On the other hand, conservation activists joined hands together and staged protests demanding official to drop the idea of relocating the animal.
But later, Chinnathambi was tranquilized and captured last January 25 after radio collar was fixed on it, and it was released at Varagaliyar in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR). Chinnathambi remained there for few days and again started its trek towards human habitat, and finally reached the forest fringes near Udumalpet, where it was again spotted by humans, triggering protests.
Again, he was captured on February 1, and made to remain inside a Kraal (wooden enclosure) at Varagaliyar in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) for taming it. After completing five months of jail life and training, Chinnathambi turned into a complete kumki that was released on Saturday and made to play with the other Kumkis at the camp, as a trial, said a source....