Panic gripped farmers of Dandikuppam and Thotakanuma villages of V. Kota mandal in the district when two elephants damaged crops in the early hours of Sunday.
The elephants entered the fields with standing crops of paddy and vegetables, and the mango orchids in these villages from the adjoining Nayakaneri forests bordering Tamil Nadu. The farmers said that the two animals continued their rampage from midnight till the early hours of Sunday, damaging crops in over 20 acres. By Sunday evening, the two elephants were reported to be moving at the edge of a nearby pond, causing concern among farmers that they might return to the fields after dusk.
Interestingly, at the same location, an elephant was electrocuted by angry villagers in 1996.
The villages abutting the thick Nayakaneri forests witness the movements of three different herds of elephants, including one with 29 members. Two separate batches each with two elephants also visit the fields now and then.
The farmers said that some live power lines snapped and were dangling along the fields in some areas when the elephants uprooted wooden power poles. Though the matter was taken to the notice of forest officials at Baireddipalle, V. Kota and Palamaner till evening no official had visited the place, they alleged.