The man-animal conflict at the tri-State junction of Kuppam, flanked by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, is taking a serious turn, with two lone wild elephants on the prowl in the agriculture fields and brushing close to human habitations in two separate locations in Kuppam and Ramakuppam mandals, since a couple of weeks.
In Ramakuppam mandal, a lone elephant is giving sleepless nights to the farmers of Naniyala, Narayanapuram thanda, Kavalimadugu and Veernamala hamlets, raiding crops and moving right in the middle of human habitations.
A farmer at Naniyala said that in the last two days, the pachyderm was criss-crossing his courtyard, while his family members are caught in the grip of fear, afraid of attending their daily chores. Parents are worried to send their children to schools. Others deplored that failure of rains had a telling effect on the groundnut crop, and their desperate attempts to protect the small vegetable plantations are in quandary following giving up of night vigils at the fields by farmers, fearing the tusker’s raids.
Villagers of Kuppam mandal reported that another lone elephant is moving in the fields of Valuru ;and Motlachenu villages, bordering Maharaja Kadai forests of Tamil Nadu. The elephant is seen actively grazing in the agriculture fields from dusk to dawn, and spending the day in the forests. Incidents of lone elephants on the prowl had led to a number of human casualties in Chittoor district during the last three decades. In the last couple of years alone, four pachyderms were killed close to human habitations, in three cases due to electrocution. Though the forest department had dug elephant-proof trenches and put solar fencing across the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary and Tamil Nadu forests close to fields and hamlets, the conflict continues.