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Jumbo ‘Rivaldo’ adapting well to its new forest home, says TN govt

The initiative would be a model for re-settling wild animals, affected by human-animal conflicts, in their natural environment again, the government expressed confidence.

By: PTI | Chennai |
August 4, 2021 8:00:18 am
Rivaldo, Tamil Nadu elephantOn August 2, Rivaldo, which was lodged in a shelter in Nilgiris district was let out in the central region of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve area of Tamil Nadu. (Twitter/@supriyasahuias)

A day after wild elephant ‘Rivaldo’ was released into the forest following nearly three-month long captivity, the animal is showing normal behaviour in its new environment, the Tamil Nadu government said here on Tuesday.

The elephant is radio-collared and the tracking exercise so far has revealed that it searched the area for food on its own and its behaviour is completely normal and in sync with that of a wild elephant, an official release here said.

“This is the first time an elephant in captivity in Tamil Nadu was released into the wild,” the government said adding the location of the animal’s release offered it good sources of food and water.

The initiative would be a model for re-settling wild animals, affected by human-animal conflicts, in their natural environment again, the government expressed confidence.

On August 2, Rivaldo, which was lodged in a shelter in Nilgiris district was let out in the central region of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve area of Tamil Nadu.

The radio collar would help track the elephant’s safety and health besides contributing to avoiding human-animal conflict, the release said.

Though a wild elephant, Rivaldo often took food offered to it by tourists and it loitered in the populated areas of Nilgiris District for years and several attempts to capture it had failed.

The animal’s presence led to apprehensions among the local people over their safety.

Prompted by such concerns, forest authorities brought it to a custom built shelter known as ‘Krall’ on May 5 and it was lodged there till its release. Medical treatment was provided to the approximately 35-year old animal which had injuries also to its trunk.

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