Tusker captured in 6-hour operation (Coimbatore, India)


Wilson Thomas, The Hindu

Date Published
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The six-hour operation to tranquillise and capture the tusker which killed four person on the outskirts of Coimbatore on Fridaybegan at 7 in the morning as forest personnel and around 200 police personnel surrounded the Kuppanna Gounder Thottam.

The elephant had trampled Palannisamy in his farm in the morning and police move in to keep local people at a safe distance even as crowds gathered to watch the operation.

Kumki elephant Paari from the Chadivayal camp was brought to the farm by 9.30 a.m. With all preparations in place, veterinary surgeon N.S. Manoharan from the Forest Department darted the elephant with the first tranquilliser shot at 11.15 a.m. After the drug took effect and the animal moved to a declivity in the farm, the forest guards tied a rope around its leg to pull it towards a lorry to relocate it. Even the efforts continued to move the massive animal, another tranquilliser shot had to be administered at around 2 p.m. and it was physically cornered by six earth movers.

After tying a rope around its neck, kumki Paari was employed to pull the tusker into a covered lorry. By 2.50 p.m., the forest team successfully loaded the animal on the lorry to be taken to Varagaliyar elephant camp where it would be put in a ‘kraal’ (wooden enclosure), till its musth wore off officials said.

“It was tough task to capture the tusker as it stood in an open farm,” said Dr. Manoharan after the operation. Veterinary surgeon K. Asokan, Ranger Officers S. Thangaraj Panneerselvam (Udumalpet) and M. Nazeer (Mettupalayam) led the operation. District Collector T.N. Hariharan and City Police Commissioner A. Amalraj visited the spot.

CM condoles deaths

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami expressed his condolences on the death of the four persons, and announced a solatium of ?4 lakh to their bereaved families. In a statement, Mr. Palaniswami said that he had directed the Coimbatore district administration and hospital officials to ensure the best treatment for those injured.