A wild elephant that created panic among people within Udri Gram Panchayat limits in the district was successfully chased into the forest on Saturday.

The elephant, which according to Krishna Anne Gowda (Range Forest Officer), was a ten-year-old male that had damaged crops in Bidirageri, Guddekoppa and Haaya villages.

Mr. Gowda, who spoke to presspersons here on Saturday, said the operation to drive the animal back into the forest had begun on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Mr. Gowda’s team received information on the tusker’s movement in Bettadakorli forest.

Mahouts from Sakrebailu elephant camp Manjunath Kumar, Anwar Basha, Mohammed Kabir and Mohammed Siddiqui had joined the team by Thursday evening. The four had taken part in similar exercises before.

Early on Saturday, the elephant had come to a maize field near Haaya village. The team chased the elephant to Shiddihalli forest with the help of tom-tom drums and crackers. He said that the chance that the elephant would return to residential areas was small.

However, Forest Department staff would maintain vigil in the region for another two days, he said.

Meanwhile, standing crops in 20 acres were destroyed by the elephant. It had also damaged sprinklers and water pipes installed at areca nut plantations in Bidirageri and Haaya villages.

Sorab tahsildar P.G. Nataraj has said that the damage caused by the elephant was being assessed and the victims would be compensated as per the existing guidelines.

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