As most of the waterholes and ponds in the Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary have gone dry in summer, elephants are coming out of the forests in large numbers, looking for water and food.

On Sunday morning, a herd of elephants strayed out from the reserve forests and entered Bhavanisagar town after raiding crops and quenching their thirst at Lower Bhavani Project canal. The herd comprising five elephants entered the Bhavanisagar Dam park before roaming around various parts of the town. Residents alerted forest personnel, who rushed to the spot and initiated steps to drive the elephants back into the forests. It took more than three hours for the personnel and people in the area to send the jumbos back into the jungle.

The district has been witnessing similar incidents for the past few months as most of the water sources in the forests have gone dry following the monsoon failure. It has become very common to spot elephants raiding the crops in Bhavanisagar, Punjai Puliyampatti, TN Palayam and Anthiyur blocks. An adult elephant requires at least 200 to 250 kg of food and 100 to 150 litres of water a day. Once the elephants come out of their habitat and get used to the food crops, it becomes a habit to them.