Jumbo makhna darted after remaining elusive for 17 days
COIMBATORE: The operation to capture the problematic wild elephant, Pandalur Makhna - PM2 ended successfully on Thursday after 17 days of intensive search by the Gudalur forest department.
PM-2 has been brought under the influence of sedation and efforts were being taken by the forest department to relocate the animal. It is likely to be released in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
Multiple teams of the forest department, tracking the elephant day and night finally tranquillized the animal at the Needle Rock area in Puliyamparai in Gudalur Forest Division around the afternoon.
Besides using drones, the staff also stayed on more than 10 machans (temporary structures atop trees) braving chill weather at night to monitor the movement of the elephant.
“Efforts to capture the animal got delayed as PM2 joined different herds and also moved into Kerala forest area. It was spotted alone, but on an undulated terrain on Thursday. Still, we decided to go ahead with our operation and the animal was darted twice. As the elephant slipped into a semi-conscious state, its legs were tied to a tree with the assistance of four kumkis,” said a senior official of the forest department.
Further, earth movers were brought to level the soil to facilitate the animal to board the forest department truck. The capture of PM-2 gave a sense of relief to villagers, who held multiple protests after the elephant frequented Pandalur and Puliyamparai localities to raid essentials by damaging houses.
On November 19, a 56-year-old woman died after PM-2 attacked her by pulling down the house to consume food items at Devala in Gudalur.