The forest officials in Tamil Nadu were literally taken aback on Tuesday as the kumki (an elephant specialised in training wild elephants) deputed to tame Chinna Thambi, a wild tusker, has been charmed and wooed by the latter.
Tamil Television news channels have been airing since Tuesday morning the live visuals of the wild elephant Chinna Thambi and the kumki with a famous Bollywood number Yeh Dosti Hum Nahee Chorengein, much to the delight of the viewers.
Chinna Thambi, which was re-located from the forest reserve of Thadakam in Coimbatore to Anamalai Tiger Reserves at Top Slip, almost 80 km away, on January 25, is on a walkathon from its new and strange surroundings in search of its “ancestral home”, the Thadagam reserve forest.
The kumki has been summoned to avoid any possible stand-off between the wild elephant and the local population. However, besides discharging her assigned job, the kumki has fallen in love with Chinna Thambi, as she seems to have found a long lost friend in the latter. She is showing utmost care and affection to the guest.
The officials of the Coimbatore Forest Division, who were at the receiving end of the complaints from a section of villagers in Thadagam because of the ‘mass stealing’ of their agriculture crops are upset over the return journey undertaken by Chinna Thambi accompanied by the team of foresters from ATR.
“I don’t know what is happening. We bundled off Chinna Thambi to ATR following complaints from the villagers. Now the ATR officials are guiding it back to Thadagam,” said a visibly upset senior forest official from Coimbatore Division. He said the whole affair sounds like a strip from a comedy movie as the Madras High Court has started hearing the petition by wild life conservationists who questioned the move by the authorities to convert Chinna Thambi into another Kumki.
At the time of going to the Press, Chinna, his kumki and the team of foresters were taking rest after a sumptuous late lunch at Krishnapuram, a village enroute to Thadagam.
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 | Kumar Chellappan | Chennai
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