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Wild Tusker Arikomban Relocated Away From His Human Friend In Kerala, He Builds Its Statue

When the rice-eating elephant came through, the ginger fields were demolished.

Published: June 17, 2023 7:08 PM IST

By Tahir Qureshi | Edited by Tahir Qureshi

Tusker, Arikomban, Kerala, elephant, VK Babu, Idukki, the wild jumbo, Kanjikuzhi, Chinnakanal region, Aanayirangal dam, Punnayar, Kerala Forest Department, Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary, Theni
Arikomban is now roaming around in the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wild Tusker Arikomban: A hero for one might be a villain for the other or a rogue wild animal like an elephant can be a troublemaker for some and a dear one for some.

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This story from Kerala about an elephant named Arikomban describes the same emotions where VK Babu, a native of Idukki (Kerala) and owner of a trading centre for cocoa has paid Rs 2 lakh to create an eight-foot-tall sculpture of Arikomban, often referred to as “the wild jumbo” outside his store in Kanjikuzhi.

This is because VK Babu believes that Arikomban, the renegade tusker, brought him luck, and erecting the statue of the animal is his way to show his love and thanks to the pachyderm.

Babu used to grow ginger on rented land five years ago. When the rice-eating elephant came through, the ginger fields were demolished. Babu thinks that following Arikomban’s arrival, his farming prospered.

“Tribal people told me once that if the elephant tramples upon a ginger crop, that part of the farm will get a good yield. I have understood that it’s true from my personal experience,” he said as reported by

“I have a fascination for wild jumbos and I have seen ‘Arikomban’ from a close range inside my ginger farm. It was six years ago and I watched the strongly built wild tusker with awe from a close range.

“In those days, the ‘Arikomban’ was not creating any trouble in the area other than the occasional farmlands raids and partial destruction of crops. There were six jumbos in the area that often ventured into the Chinnakanal region by crossing the reservoir of the Aanayirangal dam,” Babu said.

The sculpture has been created by Punnayar native Binu. Babu was able to describe Arikomban’s traits to the sculptor because he got a close-up view of the character. Children in particular from the community are swarming into his store to take pictures with the sculpture, add reports.

After two relocations, first by the Kerala Forest Department and the second by its Tamil Nadu counterparts, Arikomban is now roaming around in the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary.

Prior to that, Arikomban, who had wandered into residential areas in Theni, had been deemed in good health by forest officials. Arikomban is currently wandering around the forest looking for his family and kids, and many people are requesting that he be returned to Chinnakanal, adds

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