Bid to fix radio collars on jumbos (Kalpetta, India)


The Hindu

Date Published


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The wild elephant that has been identified as a habitual crop raider inside the Sulthan Bathery range of forest under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Forest and Wildlife Department has launched an operation to attach radio collar on rogue elephants in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) to keep them off human settlements.

“We are planning to attach radio collar telemeter on rouge elephants after tranquillising them, for which the department had identified two jumbos, a tusker and a makhana (male elephant without tusks), in Sulthan Bathery and Tholpetty ranges,” P. Dhaneshkumar, warden in charge of WWS, toldThe Hindu .

“Radio collaring will help constant monitoring of the marauding elephants and local people could be warned about their entry into farms and habitats. The radio signals sent by the device would also be used for studying the movement pattern and behaviour of elephants in general,” he said.

The World Wildlife Fund has supplied three radio collars, each costing around Rs.3 lakh, free of cost to the department after importing them from South Africa.

A team of wildlife experts, including C.S. Jayakumar, Forest Veterinary Surgeon; Arun Zachariah, Assistant Professor, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, and Jijimon, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, had tracked a wild tusker on Friday in the Ponkuzhy section of the WWS to fix the radio collar telemeter on it. But their attempt failed as the jumbo hid among bushes along with its herd. Though the team had applied two tranquilliser darts on it, it was deflected, Mr. Dhaneshkumar said adding that the operation would continue on Saturday.

Earlier, in 2011, a wild elephant had been successfully fixed with a radio collar telemeter in the sanctuary.