Residents say the menace has cost them their crops
They want the elephants to be captured and translocated
They do not feel confident to venture out even
HASSAN: Wild elephants have been raiding Magge, Rayara Koppalu and surrounding villages and destroying crops for the past one week. Residents here told The Hindu that in 70 villages in Sakleshpur, Alur and Arakalagudu taluks, which are on the periphery of dense forests, farmers hesitate to go to their farms even in groups fearing attack by wild elephants.
They said that they had lost confidence in the Forest Department because their appeals to capture these wild elephants and translocate them had not elicited any response. When people are killed when elephants attack them, the officials visit them and then nothing is done about the elephants.
More than 20-25 elephants, including one or two tuskers, enter the fields at night and graze there. Then, they walk through narrow village roads to reach Hemavathi backwaters. There they take a bath and rest for a while in the nearby forest. And, when it becomes dark again they proceed to the next village. This is the daily routine that the elephants have been following for some time now. It is quite a task for the farmers to save their standing crops namely paddy, sugarcane, coffee, ragi, arecanut, plantain and groundnut.
In fact, farmers had heaved a sigh of relief when the Hemavathi reservoir became full. But, once the water levels went down, elephants once again started crossing the backwaters.
Some residents here told The Hindu that the villages that were facing this problem of elephant menace were Bembaluru, Kerodi, Mugalali, Hammige, Shettihalli, Chavaduhalli, Konnapura, Ponnathapura, Padumanahalli, Madihalli, Varathhuru, Anathhara, Bhaktarahalli, Merave, Sulugodu, Nagavara, Muttinahalli, Ganjigere, Honnavalli, Kusaguru, Halasanahalli and Kudigele.