Arikomban, Kerala’s rice-loving jumbo walks home, may be brought back to Munnar

The elephant, which was recently translocated to Periyar Tiger Reserve, was on Wednesday located near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu forest border

Human-animal conflict, Arikkomban
The Arikkomban issue is a blatant example of the government's failure to protect the lives of citizens, as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution | File photo

Arikomban, Kerala’s notorious rice-loving elephant, which was recently translocated from Chinnakkanal village in Idduki district to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, may be brought back to Munnar, said reports quoting chief veterinary surgeon and Mission Arikomban head Dr Arun Zachariah.

In what seemed like an attempt by the tusker to find its way back home, it has reportedly walked 30 kilometres in the past three days and is said to be closing in on home. Forest officials last traced it near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu forest border with the help of signals from its radio collar, a day after the jumbo went missing.

Watch | After ‘Arikomban’, now ‘ChakkaKomban’ creates panic as it destroys houses in Idukki

The elephant is now being closely monitored through its radio-collar. While a team of forest rangers has been checking satellite signals from the collar and tracing the signals through the VHF antenna, another team of forest guards is physically trying to locate the elephant in the forest.

Also read: Kerala’s rogue elephant Arikomban tranquilised; shifted to Periyar Tiger Reserve

On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court asked the state government to clarify if Arikomban could be brought back to its original habitat in Chinnakanal.

It has been recently found that the jumbo is partially blind in its right eye.

The 30-year-old tusker was notorious for raiding shops and houses and polishing off stocks of rice in Chinnakanal. After much deliberation and court hearings to find a solution to the menace, the elephant on April 29 was shifted to the Periyar Tiger reserve after being captured in Chinnakkanal.

Also read: Kerala HC warns of action if Arikomban case resettlement area is elephant habitat