Wounds cured; elephant returns to forest (Coimbatore, India)


Wilson Thomas, The Hindu

Date Published

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The Forest Department on Friday released the three-year-old male elephant captured from Mangarai on March 14 into Perumpallam forest after inflammation of its oral cavity was cured.

It was undergoing treatment at the Chadivayal elephant camp for a month. Forest Department staff will monitor the movement of the calf for 10 days to ensure that it joined a herd.

The calf was caught from forest staff quarters near Mangarai Reserve Forests Rest House on March 14 after repeated complaints from residents that their houses were being attacked in search of food.

The elephant was shifted to Chadivayal elephant camp for treatment. Though he was captured from Mangarai, officials decided to release him at Perumpallam as water and fodder was available there aplenty. He can join elephant herds roaming aorund in Perumpallam forests.

District Forest Officer S. Ramasubramanian said that the elephant was treated at the Chadivayal camp under the supervision of senior veterinary surgeon N.S. Manoharan. “There was tremendous improvement in its health. It also started consuming food usually taken by wild elephants,” said Mr. Ramasubramanian.

The elephant was taken to Perumpallam in a lorry from Chadivayal camp at 8.30 a.m.

After getting down from the lorry at Perumpallam, he ate the fodder provided and walked into the forest.

“As it is a male, there is high possibility that other herds will accept him,” said WWF Landscape Co-ordinator D. Boominathan.