Kochi: The Forest Department submitted affidavit in the High Court promising to either relocate Arikompan at Kodanad Reserve or into deep forest after radio collaring him. The dept told the court it was however essential that Arikoman – the tusker targeted for capture over rampages in human settlement – be moved from his current location of Shantanpara, Chinnakanal.
Since 2005, 34 people have been killed by elephants in the Chinnakanal-Shanthanpara area, where man-wildlife conflict occurs owing to human settlement existing inside the reserve. Of the victims, seven are believed to have been killed by Aricomban. The tusker is also blamed for wrecking 31 buildings In 2017, 52 houses and shops became target to elephant rampage.
Meanwhile, the Forest dept brought to court attention that Aricomban has been captured and released before, but repeated his return to where humans lived. Earlier, when released into Periyar Tiger Reserve, residents raised protest over his presence there. The court ruling, after due consideration of all aspects, is expected to be handed soon.