Andhra Pradesh

Chittoor Farmers worried over movement of 3 elephants close to their fields

A lone elephant on prowl near Palamaner in Chittoor district on January 12, 2022. Photo: Arrangement

A lone elephant on prowl near Palamaner in Chittoor district on January 12, 2022. Photo: Arrangement

Three lone elephants, which are reportedly on prowl close to the fields at Jagamarla, Keelapatla and Kuppam, are giving tense moments to farmers at villages abutting the Koundindya wildlife sanctuary.

The crop-raiding elephants have become active in the Kuppam, Punganur and Palamaner ranges since the last week of January, a time when the mango gardens in the region are set for flowering. The field activity is considered a big lure to the pachyderms.

Given the movement of the lone elephants, the farmers have appealed to the forest officials to initiate steps to end the menace.

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar said that the three elephants keep rejoining the herds now and then, and other times they move separately. “This is hampering our efforts to locate them,” he added.

Presence of herd adds to their concerns

The officials, who are on tenterhooks because of the stray elephants, are also concerned over the presence of a 14-member herd of elephants, which are on the prowl close to the forest-fringe areas and alongside the fields between Chittoor and Kuppam.

“Our personnel are constantly monitoring the movement of the lone tuskers and the herd, preventing them from entering fields and human habitations,” he said.

The DFO attributed the presence of stray elephants near the agriculture fields to the large presence of mango gardens with the flowering season on.

“We are also finding it tough to deal with the wild herds in recent months, with several of them coming from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. After a while, the herds would be returning to their habitations. We have information that the population of elephants is on the increase with an estimated figure of 6,000 in Karnataka and 3,000 in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 6:35:30 pm |