Kumkis return to Theppakadu elephant camp (Udhagamandalam, India)


Rohan Premkumar, The Hindu

Date Published

See link for photo.

The two kumkis from the Theppakadu elephant camp in Udhagamandalam, which were taken to Agali in Kerala Forest Division to capture a wild tusker, were brought back to the camp on Wednesday.

The kumkis – Vijay and Wasim – were born in captivity at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

This is kumki Vijay’s second interstate operation in less than a month, forest department officials said. The kumki had helped trap a wild tusker at Kannur in Kerala, a few weeks ago. On Tuesday, both Vijay and Wasim teamed up to help contain the tusker, which was alleged to have killed numerous people, at Agali.

N.S. Manoharan, forest veterinarian, who led a nine-member team of forest guards, mahouts, and kumkis during the operation at Agali, said that the Vijay-Wasim combo had played a vital role in securing and containing the tusker after it was tranquilized. “It is extremely difficult to drag a darted elephant into a truck and then to unload it,” he said, adding that the four kumkis, including two from Kerala, had worked so efficiently that the entire operation was completed in less than two-and-a-half hours.

E. Vijayaraghavan, forest veterinarian, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, said that kumki Vijay responded very well to the instructions of mahouts.

The two elephants were brought back to Theppakadu elephant camp on Wednesday . They were given special diets and nutritional supplements, officials said.

Forest department staff at Theppakadu also highlighted the roles of Chief Wildlife Warden P.C.Tyagi, Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Srinivas R. Reddy, and Chief Conservator of Forests (Kerala) L. Chandrasekar in the success of Agali operation.