The forest officials of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) have constituted 24 teams to monitor the movement of herds of elephants from Kerala to Tamil Nadu forest areas.
The elephant migration from the forests of Kerala to the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) generally starts in August but this year it has already begun in June.
M.G. Ganesan, Deputy Director, ATR told IANS that the reason for the early migration of the elephants was not clear. He said that 24 special teams of forest watchers has been constituted to prevent man-animal conflict as the possibilities of migrating elephants reaching human settlements are higher.
Ganesh Ragunathan, Conservationist Biologist working with the Nature Conservation Foundation, told IANS that at least eight elephant herds comprising 10-15 members will migrate to Valparai and Manamboly forest ranges of the ATR every year.
According to senior forest officials, an elephant herd named Monica has already reached the Manombally forest range area on Saturday, June 25. Ganesh Raghunathan said that the herd that reached Manombally forest range is named Monica herd after its leader, a lady elephant named Monica.
He said, “We have been monitoring the Monica herd for long since 2002 and was led by the female elephant, Monica. The leader of the elephant pack, Monica died in 2018 but the herd comprising of eight elephants has already reached Monambally forest area.”
M.G. Ganesan said that the Monica herd enters the human settlements around evening and continues there for a couple of hours. The forest officer said that this was for getting food and called upon the people to monitor the movement of pachyderms.
Ganesh Raghunathan said that around 150 elephants reach the ATR every year. He called upon the general public not to burst crackers and provoke the elephants.