The translocated tusker Arikomban is healthy and settling well in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, refuting false reports of its death.
The wild tusker Arikomban, translocated from Cumbum to Kuttiyar Dam area of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli district on June 6, 2023, is healthy and its movement and foraging pattern seem to be good, said the Forest Department.
In an official release on February 12, 2024, A.S. Marimuthu, Conservator of Forests and Field Director of KMTR, refuted certain reports on social media alleging that Arikomban is dead. “The reports are totally false and malicious,” he said.
As per the release, it has been eight months since the tusker’s release in KMTR and it has been observed to have settled down well in Upper Kodayar dam area. The release said Arikomban is sighted away from human habitations, indicating a possible behaviour change from crop raiding to foraging in the wild.
“The movement of the tusker is being constantly monitored through the signals obtained from the radio collar fixed on the tusker. The movement pattern has been observed to be an average distance of approximately 3 kilometres per day,” the release added.
Recently, on January 28, Arikomban was said to have been sighted at Muthukuzhivayal by the Deputy Director, KMTR, along with the security audit team from the Centre. The tusker appeared to be healthy and foraging at the damsite.