Makeshift kumki elephant camp being set up at Madukkarai

Two kumki elephants stationed in the area to keep straying tusker at bay

The Forest Department on Monday established a makeshift kumki elephant camp at Madukkarai by relocating two of its kumki elephants from the Chadivayal camp near Kovai Coutrallam.

Recently, a lone elephant from the nearby forest entered Kurumbapalayam near Madukkarai, wandered into the farms and damaged crops.

On Monday, farmers affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Vivasayeegal Sangam petitioned the Coimbatore district administration to prevent the entry of the elephant into their farms and compensate farmers who lost the crops.

Farmers here mostly cultivate banana, papaya, maize, tomato, tapioca and a few other vegetables. The elephant had crossed the highway and the railway track before entering the farms.

They appealed to the Forest Department to expedite the process of compensating farmers. They also reminded the administration of the accident in February 2008 in which elephants were hit by a train as they were crossing the railway track near the village. On instructions from the Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle, I. Anwardeen and District Forest Officer M. Senthilkumar, Booluvampatti Range Officer C. Dinesh Kumar moved two kumki elephants, Pari (36) and Sujay (44) from Chadivayal camp to Madukkarai.

The department plans to use the kumki elephants to prevent the lone tusker from straying and move it back deep into the forest to its original migratory path. Kumki elephants will be stationed there for a couple of days and trackers will be used to monitor the tusker.

Only after confirming that the tusker will not return, will the kumkis be taken to the Chadivayal camp.

Forest officials said that the farmers should avoid crops that lure elephants, especially on the fringes.

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