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"You can know the names of a bird in all languages of the world,but when you are finished ,
You will know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.....
So let`s look at the bird and see what it`s doing --that`s what counts.
I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

-Nobel Laureate Richard P Feynman(1918-1988)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forest staff collar rogue elephant

KEEPING TABS: A group of forest veterinary surgeons led by V. Sunilkumar, forest veterinary officer, Konni, fit a collar telemeter on the neck of a marauding wild tusker at Thekkumpatta under the Sulthan Bathery forest range on Wednesday.

Radio-collared telemeter fitted on the elephant in the Wayanad forests

KALPETTA: Who'll bell the cat? The Forest Department seems to have hit on a novel idea.

Reports of man-animal conflicts have been pouring in from various parts of the State almost on a daily basis and it has remained an arduous task for forest officials to counter the menace of wild elephants in human settlements near forests. Now they have successfully fitted a radio-collared telemeter on a rogue elephant — arguably the first time in the State — at Thekkumpatta in the Sulthan Bathery forest range falling under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Wednesday. The 40-year-old pachyderm, a regular crop-raider in the area, will now be closely watched. And marauding wild elephants now have to better watch out.

According to V.K. Sreevalsan, wildlife warden who led the operation, the animal was located by forest officials in the Arakunji forest area at 6.30 a.m. After studying the suitability of the animal for collaring and the stability of the terrain, the first tranquilizer dart was administered by a group of veterinary surgeons at 8.50 a.m., followed by the second at 9.45 a.m. Soon the animal ran onto a paddy field adjacent to the sanctuary, crossed a river at Kallur and NH 212, and entered the forest. A group of forest personnel followed it and nearly half an hour later the animal began showing signs of weakness and it finally lied down at 10.40 a.m.

Soon a group of veterinary surgeons took biometrical measurements of the animal and fixed the radio-collar on its neck. After a reversal drug was administered, the animal got up and moved into the forest at 11.10 a.m. The device emits signals and this would help track the animal, Mr. Sreevalsan said adding that if the animal is found heading towards human habitations or farms, the residents could be forewarned. A team of 50 personnel, including officials of the Forest Department and a group of forest veterinary surgeons led by V. Sunilkumar. took part in the operation.

E.M. Manoj

The report published in The Hindu dated 16-6-2011

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