The Tamil Nadu Forest Department took up elephant capturing by the conventional Pit Method from 1889 onwards in the Madras Presidency, mainly to build up the work force of elephants needed for timber extraction. In the Anamallais where large areas were cleared for planting with teak, elephant capturing operation was taken up in 1889. Till 1972 more than 600 elephants were captured from wild to meet the demand for working elephants. In Mudumalai, elephant capturing was taken up in 1910 and continued till 1953.
The Theppakkadu Elephant Camp was established in 1972 in Mudumalai Range, and took over the duties.