Captured wild elephant ‘Thanneer Komban’ dies in Bandipur; Kerala Minister expresses shock

Called "Thanneer Komban" by locals, the elephant was captured more than 16 hours after it entered Kerala on Friday.


Published Feb 03, 2024 | 5:11 PMUpdatedFeb 03, 2024 | 5:11 PM

Karnataka tusker Thanneer komban

Thanneer Komban, the rogue elephant that was captured after an hours-long mission in Wayanad on 2 February and transported to Karnataka, has died, Kerala Forest Minister AK Saseendran said on Saturday, 3 February.

Terming it as “utmost painful”, the Minister said that the news about the animal’s death had shocked everyone.

The tusker was darted with tranquiliser shots twice before being loaded onto a truck with the help of kumki elephants for being transported to Bandipur in Karnataka on Friday night.

Earlier, it strayed into Mananthavady town in Wayanad and created panic in the area.

“After reaching Bandipur in the night, it was decided to conduct an examination before releasing the jumbo back into the forests,” he told reporters in Kozhikode.

However, it is understood that the elephant was dead before the examination, the Minister said.

Also Read: Karnataka tusker Thanneer Komban captured after 16-hour operation in Kerala’s Wayanad

Cause of death unknown

Noting that the exact cause of its death could be ascertained only after the postmortem, Saseendran said that it was not appropriate to comment based on speculations.

Clarifying that the entire mission carried out by the state Forest Department to capture the strayed elephant was “transparent”, he also said directions have been given to complete the rest of the proceedings in such a way.

The Karnataka authorities have consented to include a representative from Kerala in their expert team, which would conduct a postmortem of the jumbo, the Minister added.

Called as “Thanneer Komban” by locals, the elephant was captured more than 16 hours after it entered Kerala on Friday.

Four attempts were made to dart the elephant and two of them were successful, according to a senior forest official.

A huge crowd had gathered in the area to watch the jumbo being brought to the truck.

Besides locals, forest and police personnel were also present in large numbers to ensure the operation was carried out safely and smoothly.

After around 10 pm, the pachyderm was loaded onto the truck with the help of the kumki elephants. Kumki elephants are captive pachyderms used in operations for trapping and capturing other elephants.

The elephant was calm and composed throughout and did not attack anyone or cause any major property damage, it was said.

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