Wild elephants continue to damage crops in Thadagam Valley villages in Coimbatore

November 26, 2023 08:37 pm | Updated November 27, 2023 02:03 am IST - COIMBATORE

A banana plantation damaged by wild elephants at Madathur in Coimbatore district on Saturday night.

A banana plantation damaged by wild elephants at Madathur in Coimbatore district on Saturday night. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Farmers from villages in Thadagam valley in Coimbatore are urging the State government and the Forest Department to take measures to reduce the damages caused by wild elephants in agricultural lands.

Wild elephants damaged 123 banana trees of nendran variety in a farm belonging to V. Manikandan at Maduthur on the intervening nights of Saturday and Sunday. A week ago, wild elephants damaged 150 banana trees of another farmer at Somayanur in Thadagam valley.

“Farmers are now afraid of losing crops and their lives as elephant movement has escalated. People in the village are afraid of going out as elephants can be roaming anywhere,” said Mahalakshmi Manoharan, a farmer from Kalayanur in the valley.

While Forest Department officials advise farmers to avoid cultivating crops that easily attract elephants, people like Ms. Manoharan say that they had been cultivating crops like banana, sugarcane, and maize for several decades.

“The increase in the conflict started in the past 10 years or so. The government should take immediate measures to mitigate the conflict situation,” she said.

A Forest Department official said that Boundary Night Patrol Teams, dedicated units to drive out wild elephants, were toiling throughout the night. However, two or three elephants were moving together and entering farms in multiple locations at the same time.

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