The Mettuplalayam range in Coimbatore Forest Division witnessed the highest incidents of elephants coming out of forest boundary between September 2016 and August 2017 according to a study conducted by Osai, an NGO, with the support of Forest Department.
According to the report ‘The Elephant Conflict Information System,’ there were 626 incidents of elephants coming out of forest boundary.
Periyanaickenpalayam witnessed 265 such incidents in the same period. Altogether, the nine forest ranges witnessed 1,806 such incidents.
The department conducted 1,667 operations to drive elephants back to forests. As many as 1,603 operations were conducted between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Of the 779 crop raiding incidents reported, only nine were between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
While 1,806 elephants came out of forests, only 779 of them destroyed crops.
About 74 % of the elephants that came out of forests in the Pooluvampatti range, however, indulged in destroying crops during the same period.
At Nellimalai in Mettupalayam range, there were 259 incidents of elephants coming out of forests, and Naickenpalayam reported 212 incidents.
Of the total incidents of elephants coming out of forests, 32 % were reported from Devarayapuram of Pooluvampatti range, Hulical and Kallar of Mettupalayam range, Odanthurai and Pethikuttai of Sirumugai range.
The study found that the frequency of elephants coming out of forests was highest in September, which abruptly decreased till November, and sharply increased again till January.
Of the 1,806 incidents of elephants coming out of forests reported, 650 were solitary male elephants, and 34 were solitary female elephants.
The rest were elephant herds.