The pair of wild elephants that had gone astray and have been roaming in the nearby forests for more than a fortnight, returned to the villages near Kaveripattinam in Krishnagiri district on Wednesday morning, creating further panic among the people.

The elephants were spotted on the banks of the river near Therpatti. On receipt of information, A.K. Ulaganathan, District Forest Officer, A. Madhu, Assistant Conservator of Forests and rangers from Royakottai and Krishnagiri rushed to the spot along with the necessary strength of forest employees to drive away the animals into the Sokkadi Reserve Forests.

Mr. Ulaganathan told The Hindu that the pachyderms were attracted by the Subabul (Leucaneia Leucocephala) trees the leaves of which were rich in protein and sought by elephants as fodder.

Forest officials have alerted the local people against venturing out of their houses during the drive to send the elephants into the forests.

Meanwhile, the herd of elephants that killed two persons including a three-year old near Krishnagiri last week entered the farm lands, destroyed about 300 banana trees and also damaged mango trees.

As many as 1786 applications were received from the farmers demanding compensation for crop losses. Of this, 1600 applications were processed. The demand drafts for Rs. 30 lakh were ready with the authorities.

The DDs would be distributed to the affected persons after the assembly elections process was over on May 13, Mr. Ulaganathan added.