The 'Operation Black' launched by the Tamil Nadu forest department to capture rogue elephant 'Karuppan' in Erode finally yielded success with its capture, officials said on Monday.

'Karuppan' had been elusive for the past few months.

It was captured after sedation at a sugarcane farm in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in the early hours of Monday.

Indian elephant (Representational Picture)Wikimedia Commons

The elephant was captured by tranquilizing it while 'Karuppan' was raiding a private sugarcane farm of a person, named Murthy in Maharajapuram around 5 a.m. The wild elephant was later goaded into a truck with the help of two a Kumki' elephants, 'Chinnathambi' and 'Mariyappan' from Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).

It may be recalled that two earlier attempts were made in January and March this year to capture this elephant but it was suspended as the elephant could not be sedated.

The capture of 'Karuppan', which had created havoc for the farmers in the area by raiding sugarcane farms, was met with jubilation. Locals had said that this elephant was involved in the killing of three people, but the forest department was tight-lipped on the same.

The Elephant Whisperers
The Elephant Whisperers.IANS

M.K. Vasudevan, a sugarcane farmer at Maharajapuram near Erode while speaking to IANS said, "During the last one-and-half years during his visits to farms adjoining in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, the elephant has developed an irresistible fondness for sweet and had continuously raided sugarcane farms, banana farms and even places where jackfruits were abundant."

The elephant, according to farmers, had also developed resistance to firecrackers and loud voices and used to withdraw from the farm that it raided only after completing its mission of eating the fruits and crops.

Another factor that made the capture of the elephant a daunting task was the elephant coming out of the forest only after dusk set in and then it used to retreat before dawn. The elephant then mingled with herds deep inside the forest.

(With inputs from IANS)