Pathanamthitta: Despite fierce protest by the local legislator, a tusker at the eco-tourism centre at Konni was despatched to faraway Muthanga by the wildlife department so that it could be trained as a 'kumki'.
Meanwhile, another elephant has been brought to the elephant camp at Konni in place of Surendran, the tusker sent to the elephant camp in Muthanga in Wayanad district.
Kumki are used to trap and domesticate wild elephants.
On Monday, an attempt to shift Surendran to Muthanga was prevented by a group of people led by Adoor Prakash, MLA.
There are no kumki elephants in Kerala now. A kumki elephant is essential to drive back wild elephants that foray into human habitats. Of late, kumki elephants are brought from Tamil Nadu when the need arises.
However, this may not be possible all the time and hence a decision was taken to give training to elephants as kumkis. But the government didn't take necessary care in the implementing the decision.
Elephants are the main attraction at the Konni eco-tourism centre. The MLA claimed that two elephants had already been taken away from Konni without any replacements and if Surendran too is taken away, the tourism project in his constituency would be affected.
Surendran and another tusker from Kodanad were chosen for higher training after assessing all the elephants under the forest department. An elephant that is slightly unruly in nature can be trained only as kumkis as they can face the wild elephants without fear. Besides, a fully tamed elephant is not suited for kumki training. Surendran suited the bill perfectly and hence chosen for the kumki training.
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