Elephants’ herd roaming near Sakleshpur villages leave residents worried

Elephants have damaged crops in a farmland in a village in Sakleshpur.— Photo: Prakash Hassan  

A herd of about 20 elephants have been roaming in villages located near the National Highway 75 in Sakleshpur and Alur taluks, leaving the residents worried. Coffee plantations and paddy fields have been damaged as the wild elephants enter agricultural fields in groups.

In the last four-five days, the herd has been spotted at Kiruhunase, Aradahalli, Hale Bagekoplu and other villages, near Ballupete, located on the National Highway 75. “The elephants are approximately five to 10 km away from the highway. As they are in a group, with a couple of cubs, we are worried about our safety. The elephants can enter roads connecting villages or stray into human habitats anytime,” said Manju, resident of Aradahalli.

The Forest Department has deployed its staff to drive the elephants back into forests. Local people are not satisfied with the efforts of the officials in this regard. They want all troublesome elephants shifted to far off places so that they get completely relieved from their menace. The Forest Department relocated 22 elephants from Alur taluk earlier this year. The department had obtained permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to relocate 25 elephants.

Ganesh Bhat, Deputy Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu on Saturday, “We have already relocated 22 elephants. We had identified the other three of them for relocation. Our recent observations indicated that the remaining three elephants are not causing much damage. We have permission to relocate three elephants and the department will utilise it at the right time. If we have to relocate any troublesome elephant, we need not follow lengthy process to get permission again to capture and relocate it,” he said.

Regarding the elephants damaging crops, the official said that two groups of elephants, which were earlier settled in Hemavati backwaters in parts of Alur taluk and Changadihalli in Yeslur range of Sakleshpur taluk, had joined together and were straying into farm lands. “Our people are in the field to drive them away. We have sufficient staff strength to handle any situation,” he said.

Volunteers of Nature Conservation Foundation, a non-governmental organisation focussing on conservation of wildlife, had joined hands with the department to spread awareness among local people on the behaviour of elephants.

“Four volunteers are spending time with local people for the last few months to spread such awareness,” he said.

Wild elephants are said to be entering fields and damaging crops

People claim to be seeing a herd of about 20 pachyderms near Ballepete in the last four-five days

They are always seen in a group, which includes a couple of cubs

Ministry of Environment and Forests has permitted Forest Department to relocate 25 elephants

Now, efforts are on to spread awareness among people about behaviour of elephants

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 2:14:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/elephants-herd-roaming-near-sakleshpur-villages-leave-residents-worried/article7982864.ece

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