Minister of Forests K. Ramachandran visited the Anaimalai Topslip Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp in Coimbatore District and inspected the corona virus testing for elephants.
The Minister said ”the Chief Minister is taking various measures on a war footing to control the spread of corona virus infection in Tamil Nadu.
A corona infection has been detected in a lion in Vandalur Park. Following this, the CM inspected the Vandalur Zoo on 05.06.2021 and ordered to intensify corona infection control measures in all zoos in Tamil Nadu.
He also instructed corona virus test for all wildlives under government care in Tamil Nadu. Based on this, two teams of veterinarians were formed today to test 28 elephants in the Anaimalai Topslip Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp and 28 elephants in the Mudumalai Theppakadu Elephant Sanctuary in the Nilgiris district.
Corona test conducted for the elephants and the report sent to a lab at Bellary, UP, for getting test results. At present, in the Coimbatore District, Anaimalai Tiger Reserve is functioning as a permanent camp at Topslip in Kozhikamuthi and an alternative camp is existed at Varagaliyar.
The Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp at Topslip has 18 males and 10 female elephants. They are maintained by the Forest Department.
Of them, there are 3 Kumki elephants, 5 elephants riding elephants, 4 elephants retired due to old age. There are 53 people working here as mahouts and helpers.
Elephants are fed here in the morning and evening, with rice, ragi kali, salt, jaggery, sugarcane and bananas on special days.”
”Kozhikamuthi camp is the first elephant camp in Tamil Nadu where 100 percent of mahouts were vaccinated against corona. According to the report, 60 people and their families were tested for coronavirus infection yesterday.
All mahouts are instructed to wear a mandatory mask.
In addition, an organization called the anti poaching squad has been set up in the forest to monitor the daily movement of wildlife in the forest and provide information to the residents living along the forest.
The Minister stated that this is preventing human-wildlife conflicts.” Earlier, he planted saplings at Pollachi Sethumadai Government Primary Health Center and then handed over essential items to the front line personnel of the area.
The Minister also visited the Anaimalai Topslip Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp to provide relief funds of Rs. 3.50 lakhs to the wildlife victims, provide safety dress to anti-poaching squad, and corona prevention equipment to the forest officials and inspected vaccination for the forest staff.
Pollachi MP K. Shanmugasundaram, Additional Chief Forest Conservator Anwardine, Pollachi Sub Collector Mr. Vaithiyalingam, District Forest Officer Arogya Xavier, Assistant Forest Conservator (Training) Prasanth, Assistant Forest Conservator Selvam and many others including Forest Officers were present on the occasion.