Tamil Nadu forest minister Dr M Mathiventhan, who is also a medical doctor, said that the rogue elephant Arikomban, who was relocated to the forest in Tirunelveli, was healthy and had adapted well to the area. He also said that the elephant's wounds had healed and that he was eating grass and drinking water as both grass and water were in abundance in the forest area. The Minister further added that he is continuously being monitored by 15 forest department personnel.
The minister while speaking to media said that elephants do not belong to either Kerala or Tamil Nadu and that there was no demarcation of forest land as far as wild animals were concerned. He said that when the elephant was in Kerala forest range, he was called Arikomban and in Tamil Nadu forest area he was named Arisikomban.
It may be noted that Arikomban, who had created havoc in Chinnakanal forest area of Idukki district in Kerala, was tranquilized and captured and then relocated to Periyar Tiger Reserve at a distance of 80 km from Chinnakanal on April 29. The elephant was radio collared. The elephant ventured into the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and entered the Cumbum town in Theni district. A person named Palraj fell down from his two-wheeler, suffered serious head injuries and later passed away in a hospital. This led to the Tamil Nadu government deputing a team of forest officials to capture the elephant and on June 4, he was captured and then relocated to Tirunelveli forest range.
The elephant had a deep wound on its trunk and the veterinarians, who were in the team of the Tamil Nadu forest department that captured it from Cumbum, had applied medication.