Two tuskers that strayed into villages close to the forests in separate incidents at Madukkarai and Thondamuthur were driven back into the forests.
However, the forest personnel and kumkis were stationed close to the reserve forest areas to prevent the animals from returning to the villages again.
District Forest Officer M. Senthil Kumar said that the tusker that killed a forester and left a villager badly injured near Madukkarai was chased into the forests by kumki elephants Pari and Sujai. The kumkis and six teams of forest personnel continued to camp at Kurumbapalayam village near Madukkarai. “The kumkis will march towards the forest if there were signs of that tusker coming back to the village,” he said.
Meanwhile, the officer said that with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, the Forest Department would be installing six cameras to monitor movement of tuskers, especially where they could stray into villages close to the reserve forests.
At Ujaiyanur near Chinna Thadagam, another lone tusker strayed into the village and damaged the compound wall of a government school, around 3.30 a.m., on Tuesday before the villagers chased it into the forest. Three teams comprising forest anti-poaching watchers were on the move in the areas bordering the forest to prevent the animal from entering the villages.
Mr. Senthil Kumar said that in that stretch the tuskers came out of the forests as they were attracted by the huge volume of palm tree piths that were dumped there for use as fuel in brick kilns. He added that in the past the kiln owners were advised to avoid using palm trees and many kilns adhered to the request. But a few kilns continued using the tree for baking bricks. He said that forest personnel would organise a meeting for the kiln owners next week and stress the need to avoid use of palm trees.