Operation Belur Makhna called off for second consecutive day (Wayanad)
February 12, 2024
Operation Belur Makhna had to be called off for the second consecutive day
after the Special Rapid Response Team failed to tranquilise and capture the
problem elephant, which trampled a man to death in Chaligadha near
Mananthavadi on Saturday.
The elephant remained in the depths of the forest, which made it difficult
for the darting experts to shoot it. The last known location of the animal
was in a valley and a marshy field in the Mannundi forest zone of the North
Wayanad Forest Division.
The mission will resume on Tuesday morning.
The shooters made one attempt on Monday but missed. North Wayanad DFO
Martin Lowell told Onmanorama that the animal is still at large in the
“Normally, elephants tend to move back if we burst crackers or create some
sort of noise. However, Belur Makhna charges towards the source of the
sound. It is fearless, furious and smart. But we will capture it soon.” He
also said it was unsafe for villagers residing in the forest fringes if the
animal was left to roam freely.
The forest department has already deployed RRTs in the surrounding zones,
including in the four sensitive spots of Mannundi village, which is prone
to elephant attacks. Special patrolling in villages close to the forest
Trackers are camping atop temporary tree huts in the jungle to watch for
the elephant and alert the ground personnel.
Holiday for schools
On account of the crisis, District Collector Dr Renu Raj declared a holiday
for all educational institutions on February 13 (Tuesday) in Thirunelli
panchayat and also in the Kurukkanmoola, Kuruva, Kadankolli and Payyampalli
divisions of Mananthavadi municipality.