Elephant patrol to check poaching in Kerala forests

August 26th, 2008 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Sulthan Bathery (Kerala), Aug 26 (IANS) An elephant patrol will roam the deep forests of Kerala in a bid to check poaching.The anti-poaching patrol in Wayanad district consists of three elephants, mahouts and forest officials.

“We started the patrol Monday. The team has around 15 members. We arranged this patrol following information from Tamil Nadu authorities that poachers could become active along Kerala-Tamil Nadu border this season,” K. Radhakrishna Lal, assistant wildlife warden at Muthanga in Wayanad, told IANS.

Wayanad district shares border with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The elephants in the patrol, Dineshan, Kunju and Suryan, belong to the forest department.

The forest officials say that elephant patrol has many advantages.

“With the help of elephants we can enter even thick forests and marshy areas. Elephants clear the way for those on foot. While riding on elephant better surveillance is also possible,” Lal said.

The patrol at a stretch will spend three days inside the forest, keeping a close watch on all activities.

“The presence of elephants ensures protection to the team from wild animals. Our elephants are good-sized and even wild elephants won’t dare challenge them,” he added.

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