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The forest department has tested the use of drones to monitor the movement of wild animals, including that of elephants, as well as forest fires.

The test was conducted in the Coimbatore forest range.

This also included the use of Drones in mitigating the Man-animal conflict.

Using the drones from the peripheries, officials successfully located a herd of wild elephants roaming a reserve forest area between Mangarai and Periya Thadagam.

They had initially located the herd inside the reserve forest and returned to the peripheries to test-fly the drones.

The test flight was quite successful.

The drones could live stream high quality video of the elephant herd even from a height of 70 metres. The buzzing sound of the rotors (similar to the buzzing of honey bees) also made the elephants retract further into the reserve forest.

A mix of aerial surveillance drones and concealed camera traps will aid the Forest Department better monitor wildlife in the elephant reserves.

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