Forest department forms final action plan to capture tusker Arikompan
March 21, 2023
The Forest department has formed the final action plan to capture a wild
tusker locally known as Arikompan. On Tuesday, a high-level meeting was
held at Munnar which decided to tranquillise the tusker at 4 a.m. on
Saturday. A trial run to dart Arikompan will be held on Friday, and the
actual operation will begin on Saturday early morning.
High Range Circle Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) Arun R.S. said that 71
rapid response team (RRT) members will join the darting operation. “It is
planned to complete the operation before noon on Saturday. If the operation
fails on Saturday, another one will be conducted on Sunday,” said Mr. Arun.
According to Forest department officials, the darting team will be led by
forest chief veterinary surgeon Arun Zachariah and N. Roopesh, range forest
officer of the elephant squad and RRT of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS).
In addition, four kumki elephants – Vikram, Surya, Kunju and Surendran –
will be part of the operation.
Idukki District Collector Sheeba George said the district administration
would impose Section 144 (which prohibits gathering of four or more people)
in select wards of Chinnakkanal and Santhanpara panchayats in Idukki during
the darting operation.
“Visitors and video vloggers will not be allowed to enter the area. The
roads to Vilakk at Chinnakkanal and BL Ram near 301 Colony will be blocked.
Traffic will be regulated along the Kodanad route on Saturday. A final
decision about shifting people from 301 Colony and Sinkukandam will be
taken on Wednesday,” said the Collector.
Munnar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ramesh Bishnoi, Devikulam
Subcollector Rahul Krishna Sharma, Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF)
Shantri Tom and Devikulam range officer P.V. Vegi, among others, attended
A special meeting of various departments, plantation owners, and resort
owners will be held at Chinnakkanal panchayat at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Arikompan attacked two more houses at Periyakanal, near
Chinnakkanal, on Monday night.
According to local residents, the houses were attacked around midnight. The
tusker attacked the houses owned by Bison Valley resident Vijayan and
Adimaly resident Ashraf. The elephant first attacked Vijayan’s house. When
he noticed the presence of the wild elephant, Vijayan and his wife Lakshmi
The tusker later attacked the house on the cardamom plantation owned by
Ashraf. When the tusker attacked the house, estate worker Peter was in the
place. Following repeated elephant attacks, Peter had been staying at a
tree house near his house.
Last week, Arikompan attacked Mr. Vijayans’ house and ate 30 kg of rice
stored in a room.