The rank and file in the state forest department is eagerly monitoring Elephant Rivaldo that the is now successfully released in the wild in Mudumalai tiger reserve after 90 days of confinement in Kraal.
“This is historically the first such release and rehabilitation operation in Tamil Nadu's wildlife management and the release of injured Rivaldo after rehabilitation is a 12 hours full night - morning operation from Sunday to Monday. Senior ecologists, veterinarians, foresters and drone technologists were roped in for the release,” state chief wildlife warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj, who was the monitoring officer of the rehabilitation programme told DT Next. Supriya Sahu, secretary Environment Climate Change and Forests who had camped in Mudumalai complimented the team members on their maiden attempt in rehabilitating an injured wild elephant and releasing back into the thickets.
“The elephant is now in good health condition and we are monitoring the movement and feeding habit of Rivaldo. Rivaldo, who is close to 40 years lost a part of its trunk in an accident a decade back and was forced to depend on feeding by tourists. It was endangering both the lives of the elephant and the tourists and had weakened Rivaldo over the years,” forest department sources said. It may be noted that the animal activists had petitioned the Madras High Court seeking court’s intervention on Rivaldo. The court which refused to intervene in the forest department decision to rehabilitate advised scientific approach. It was dicey situation for the foresters on whether to convert Rivaldo into a captive elephant or to facilitate the release of the animal back in to the wild. Finally, Rivaldo has healed and is confident of foraging inside the jungle near Vazhaithottam, forest department sources said.