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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 12 April 2024 4.20 PM IST

Faced similar fate to Thaneer Komban ; little-known story of Asia's beast that once ruled Muthanga forest

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WAYANAD: Kerala mourned the loss of Thaneer Komban on Saturday as most news circled about the haste in which the pachyderm was transported to Bandipur in Karnataka. On the other hand, post-mortem reports revealed traces of pellet wounds from the body which added to the calamity. While it is all Thaneer Komban in the news now, it is better not to forget the name of another tusker who bid adieu to this land almost 25 years ago.

‘Onnara Komban’ was one of Asia’s tallest elephants just 25 years ago. However, akin to Thaneer Komban, the tallest elephant back then had to endure a similar fate as it collapsed to death while being transported with the help of two Kumki elephants.

Onnara Komban (half-horned elephant) back then wreaked havoc by destroying crops in Kallur, Thottamoola and Kambalam areas of the Muthanga forest area. Unable to tolerate the disturbance, the elephant was tranquilised and captured in 1995. It was rather an arduous task for the kumki elephants to tame the tallest Onnara Komban and make him enter the lorry.

On the first day, the kumki elephants failed their work. The work continued the next day and more tranquillizers were shot at Onnara Komban. However, on the second day, Onnara Komban collapsed on the ground after being just 500m away from the temporary cage. The post-mortem report also found that he had been shot multiple times earlier.

Thaneer Komban, who was stationed in Mananthavady city for 15 hours, collapsed after being drugged and taken to Bandipur, Karnataka. The decision to catch the pachyderm and immediately shift it to Bandipur arose after people of the region complained and had enough of living in fear of attacks from wild animals, who occasionally visited the human habitat.

Thaneer Komban, unlike other elephants never attacked any humans, nor damaged any crops. It was just to ensure protection for the residents that the forest officials decided to transport the elephant to a safer region.

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TAGS: MUTHANGA, KERALA, THANEER KOMBAN, ASIANET, KUMKI, ELEPHANTS, BANDIPUR
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