Andhra Pradesh

Wild elephant continues to wreak havoc in Kuppam

The foot impression of the wild elephant near Kuppam.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A wild elephant, believed to have separated from its herd in Krishnagiri forests of Tamil Nadu, killed a woman and injured a man at Shantipuram and Gudupalle mandals in Kuppam in the early hours of Sunday.

According to forest officials, the animal has been on the prowl in the forest-fringe villages in Kuppam, Shantipuram and Gudupalle mandals since the last fortnight. It killed 17-year-old girl at a field while her family members were guarding their crops on Friday.

The pachyderm retreated into the thickets in Tamil Nadu, but returned to the Andhra Pradesh side on Sunday. It trampled a 50-year-old woman at C. Bandapalle village in Shantipuram mandal, when she ventured out to answer the call of nature in the early hours of Sunday.

The pachyderm then moved to Chintarapalem village of the neighboring Gudupalle mandal and chased a farmer Narayanappa (56) in a field. It flung the man into the air. Mr. Narayanappa suffered a head injury and fractures in his ribs after being dashed to the ground.

Aggressive behaviour

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar said the male pachyderm aged around 20 years was found to be undergoing ‘musth’, a periodic condition characterized by highly aggressive behaviour owing to the rise in reproductive hormones in the autumn and early winter.

“The animal is very aggressive. Recently, it got separated from its herd. Forest trackers are trying their best to make it retreat into the forests in Tamil Nadu. The animal is straying into areas in Kuppam, and the neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” said Mr. Ravi Shankar.

He said that when the elephant was trying to cross into the forests in Karnataka, it was driven back into Kuppam side by the forest officials there. “The situation is same on the Tamil Nadu side. If this continues, it may lead to possible loss of more lives and crops,” he said.

Tom-tom parties

Mr. Ravi Shankar said that the issued was discussed with Chittoor Collector Narayana Bharat Gupta and SP S. Senthil Kumar. “As a temporary measure, we have arranged tom-tom parties at all vulnerable hamlets for warning the public not to venture out alone after the sundown,” he said.

“The families of the deceased will be given a financial assistance of ₹1 lakh each on Monday,” said the DFO.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 11:08:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/wild-elephant-continues-to-wreak-havoc-in-kuppam/article32710135.ece

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