Traffic stopped on two State highways and people asked to stay indoors during operations

A herd of over thirty wild elephants that entered villages was driven back into the Denkanikottai Reserve Forest on Thursday night by the Forest authorities.

Hamlets

The mammoth operation involved suspending traffic on two State highways, asking people to stay indoors for long periods and chasing the elephants across ten hamlets.

S. Sukumar, Hosur Ranger told The Hindu that the herd feasted on standing crops in little over fifteen acres in villages in the vicinity of the Sanamavu Reserve forest.

Forty staff from foresters to watchers and ten trained men from anti-depredation team were involved in the drive, braving the chilly weather.

The Forest Department issued pamphlets to the villagers asking them to stay indoors between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. The herd crossed Billikkal, Singiripalli, Jakkeri and Kottatti and two State highways i.e. Kelamangalam - Royakottai and Kelamangalam – Singiripalli - Uthanapalli.

Some elephants that got separated from the herd and were still roaming inside the Sanamavu Reserve Forest will also be chased into the forests, officials said.

Crop damage

He said the crop damage was being assessed by officials after getting proper documents from the farmers concerned and compensation would be disbursed as early as possible.