The herd of seven elephants were spotted in Chamalapura near Mysore on Sunday, prompting the Forest Department officials and staff to rush to the spot in a bid to drive them back into forests.

Two elephants from the herd were spotted at Dornahalli in K.R. Nagar taluk a couple of days ago.

The animals regrouped later to move as one unit, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mysore, D.S. Gaonkar, told The Hindu.

As usual, people congregating in the areas where the elephants went created problems for the officials.

Around 150 members, including trackers, watchers, guards, Deputy Range Forest Officers and Range Forest Officers, apart from senior officials, are involved in the drive.

Late on Sunday evening, the elephants had crossed Jampalli area close to Gaddige in Hunsur, Mr. Gaonkar said. The herd could cross the Gaddige area and go past the Hunsur road towards Sollepura and Veeranahosalli areas, adjoining the Nagarahole National Park later in the evening, he said. The operations would continue in the night as well. Mr. Gaonkar said the Forest Department had planned to start operations to drive the herd back at 7 a.m. on Monday, but had to rush to Chamalapura on receiving the news on Sunday morning.

The staff involved in the operations has been equipped with necessary gadgets. The department wants to ensure that the animals do not cause damage to people or property, Mr. Gaonkar added.

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