The residents of the Thalavadi, Hasanur and Jeerahalli villages in Tamil Nadu’s Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve breathed a sigh of relief as the tusker, Karuppan, who had been raiding their crops and damaging properties had been caught.
‘Karuppan’ tusker turned crop-rider caused damages for more than 50 lahks in the Jeerahalli surroundings of Thalavadi forest in Erode in the last one year, was finally captured by the forest team led by ranger Sathish and they put an tremendous effort for the last four months pic.twitter.com/FbKG95WeRP
— Srini Subramaniyam (@Srinietv2) April 17, 2023
Sharing details of the operation, Thalavadi forest ranger, S. Sathish told the media that Mariyappan and Chinnathambi, two kumkis or captive elephants trained to catch the wild ones, were brought from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve to Thalavadi last week. The movement of the elephant was closely monitored by a team of 100 people, led by Devendra Kumar Meena, STR Deputy Director, which included veterinarians and forest rangers.
Karuppan on Sunday entered a sugarcane plantation and by next morning, veterinarians managed to shoot darts at the creature making it semi-conscious. Ropes were tied around it and the kumkis were deployed to load it on a truck.
There was much drama as Karuppan tried to escape and also got into a conflict with Mariappan who thwarted its attempt. Karuppan had so far killed two people apart from damaging crops.
After a year-long struggle, #TamilNadu Forest Department caught the rogue elephant Karuppan.
The lone tusker had been posing a threat to villagers of Thalavadi, Hasanur, & Jeerahalli areas of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Erode district.
Watch: https://t.co/71bEsdwgAz pic.twitter.com/vgXLHsabAK
— South First (@TheSouthfirst) April 18, 2023
Karuppan whose health condition was checked by a veterinarian was found to be stable, was according to K. Rajkumar, STR Field Director released deep in the Thattakarai forest in Bargur hills which is close to the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. With the aim of monitoring its movements, a radio has been fitted on Karuppan.
This was the second attempt to capture Karuppan. Earlier on January 12 several attempts were made but they failed. The operation was resumed in March.