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Dr. Arun Zachariah confirms: Arikomban’s health unaffected by 5 tranquilizer shots.

After successfully capturing Arikomban, Dr. Arun Zachariah, the chief veterinary surgeon behind the mission, confirmed that the elephant has received the necessary treatment and is currently under observation. ‘The wounds have been treated. We released Arikomban into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary only after ensuring he is healthy enough,’ he said.


Regarding the tranquilizer shots administered during the mission, Dr. Zachariah stated that they would not affect the elephant’s health. ‘We administered the dose in such a way that the tusker would be able to stand on the lorry while being translocated,’ he added.


Although Arikomban has been relocated, it will take some time for him to adjust to his new surroundings. The tusker is being constantly monitored, and Dr. Zachariah said, ‘We have begun receiving signals from his GPS collar.’


Dr. Zachariah, who has been working in the Forest Department for 23 years, rose to the challenge despite criticism when the mission faltered on Day-1 as Arikomban eluded them. He chose this field owing to his love of the forest and wildlife.


‘The credit for capturing Arikomban within 24 hours of beginning the mission belongs to Dr. Zachariah and others on the team,’ a Forest Department official said.


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