How far will you go to express your love for animals? Well, for Chinna Thambi, a wild tusker in the Thadgam region of Coimbatore, an entire town came together to write a petition to the district collector to drop the plan to make Chinna Thambi a kumki.
Kumki is a term for a trained captive elephant used in operations to trap wild elephants.
Coimbatore has been witnessing “Save Chinna Thambi” campaign for the past three days.
25-year-old Chinna Thambi created havoc in villages near Thadgam in the outskirts of Coimbatore for nearly a year. The wild tusker damaged crops and houses in the region. Following complaints from the local villagers, the forest department captured Chinna Thambi on January 26 and released him in the Valparai forest range a few days later.
However, a radio collar fitted on the animal has revealed that the tusker covered over 100 km and made its way towards a village near Pollachi. There are no reports of crop damage in the two days since Chinna Thambi was spotted near the village.
Speaking to the media, Forest Minister Dindugal Sreenivasan said the government will be left with no option but to capture the animal and tame it to be used as a kumki in the larger interest of safeguarding life and property of the villagers.
The minister’s comment sparked a debate on social media with many of them urging the Tamil Nadu government to reconsider its decision to convert the jumbo into a kumki.