Arikomban - Kerala Elephant

Arikomban is a famous rogue elephant in Kerala.

Arikomban (Rice Tusker)estimated to be born in late 1980s is a rogue Indian elephant in Kerala, India. The elephant is named for his raids on local shops for rice and causing massive damage in the Chinnakanal area of Munnar and is reported to have killed seven people. The name Arikomban is a combination of the Malayalam words "Ari" which means rice, and "Komban" which means tusker.

Arikomban was initially known as Chinnakomban. Arikomban's practice involves breaking into ration shops, home kitchens and grocery stores and eating the rice. A native's ration shop in Panniyar Estate was vandalized nine times in one year by Arikomban. Since 2005, more than 75 buildings have been destroyed by the elephant. On 29 April 2023, after a massive debate and a legal battle between the Kerala government and animal lovers, the Kerala wildlife department successfully tranquillised and captured Arikomban from Chinnakanal and released into Periyar National Park.

Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran Kerala Elephant

The Mission Arikombon proposed by Kerala government in March 2023 initially endured controversy, including animal rights activists opposing the Kerala forest department's move to capture and tame Kumuki elephants at the Kodanad Elephant Center in Ernakulam district. The committee recommended moving the elephant to a wilderness region without any possibility of human-human conflict. The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve was the place the committee had advised moving Arikomban. Protests quickly broke out in the Parambikulam neighbourhood as locals vehemently opposed the decision.

The government subsequently launched a big operation and started looking for alternate areas to relocate the elephant. Arun Zachariah, a wildlife veterinarian, was in charge of the mission. 150 people from the police, health, and motor vehicles departments as well as the rescue services assisted in the mission. A tranquillized Arikomban was herded into a truck using four kumki elephants and sent to the Periyar Tiger Reserve on 29 April 2023 following a two-day operation.

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Species: Elephas maximus (Asian Elephant)
Sex: Male
Born: 1986/1987, Kerala, India

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