Efforts to capture Belur Makhna turn futile in Wayanad

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For the second day on Monday, the Rapid Response team of the Forest department encountered difficulties in the search for the wild elephant Belur Makhna that trampled a farmer to death in Wayanad on Saturday.

Forest officials spotted the animal at the Mannundi forest area near Kattikulam, but the animal entered a swampy area inside the forest, hindering the efforts to tranquillise it.

Though the tracking team again spotted the animal at the Chempakappara forest under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, it could not be tranquilised due to the thick undergrowth in the area, a Forest department source said.

As many as 2,000 frontline forest staff, including the Rapid Response team from the sanctuary, Nilambur South Forest Division, and Mannarkad North Forest Division, were mobilised for the operation. Four trained elephants and a forest veterinary team also attended the combing.

Senior forest officials are also camping in the area.

Tiger spotted

Meanwhile, the sighting of a tiger in a human habitat at Vadanakkavala, near Pulpally, on Monday morning triggered panic among the residents.

A farmer and his wife who were working on their plantation saw the tiger chasing a wild boar into their plantation. The tiger stayed on the plantation for hours.

A team of forest officials rushed to the spot and found the tiger inside the plantation. A team of forest officials are camping at the site.

A few days ago, a tiger was sighted at Anappara, near the area. The officials had set up two cages at Surabhikkavala and Tannitheruvu after two domestic animals were killed, suspected in tiger attacks.

Karnataka offers help

Karnataka Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao has said that his government would give all help to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict in Wayanad, which shares its borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Speaking after inaugurating a public meeting at Kalpetta on Monday in connection with the Samaragni march led by the Congress, Mr. Rao said as the issue was a sensitive and a difficult one, coordination between the two governments was the need of the hour. The issue should be sorted out with great care and caution and all efforts should be made to find a lasting solution, the Minister said.

The night traffic ban on Karnataka’s part of the Kozhikode-Kollegal national highway 766 created difficulty for the people from Kerala to travel to Karnataka, he said. As completely lifting the ban was not possible, the Karnataka government would consider steps to ease the issue, the Minister added.



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