Tension grips Kuppam-T.N. border villages after jumbo kill two farmers

A forest watcher observing the march of wild elephants across a forest road on Kuppam-Tamil Nadu border.  

An uneasy calm gripped villages along the Tamil Nadu-Kuppam division border after two villagers were killed by wild elephants at Chintamakulapalle village of Krishnagiri district, 35 km from Kuppam, on Friday. After the incident, the elephants, said to number over 50, split into two or three herds, and are believed to be moving towards Kuppam and Gudupalle mandals of Chittoor district.

According to information, the herds had moved into Krishnagiri from Hosur division a couple of days ago. On their way towards the border with Kuppam, the herds came across two farmers in a groundnut field and allegedly trampled them to death. Temporary strategies to drive away the elephants by irate mobs led to the herd splitting into two or three, and this had made their movements uncertain.

Going by the past experience, whenever the elephants from Hosur created tension in agricultural fields in Tamil Nadu, its impact had always been felt in Kuppam division.

“During the last decade, several wild elephants had moved into Kuppam after destroying crops in Tamil Nadu villages. However, their number used to be small, about three or five. Our forest officials also could handle them without much effort. This time, our counterparts in Tamil Nadu cautioned us that the wild elephants are marching towards Kuppam through the Maharaja Kadai forests,” a vegetable farmer of Kuppam said.

Meanwhile, forest officials of both Krishnagiri of Tamil Nadu and Kuppam range in Chittoor district have put the forest watchers and elephant trackers on alert, as the herds were seen criss-crossing the rural roads.

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar said elephant trackers were deployed to monitor the situation along the border villages. The farmers in Kuppam and Gudupalle mandals close to the Maharaja Kadai forests had been cautioned to abandon night vigil and residents in forest fringe areas warned not to move alone, but in groups, besides temporarily avoiding wearing of white clothes.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 11:08:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tension-grips-kuppam-tn-border-villages-after-jumbo-kill-two-farmers/article36407620.ece

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