The Forest Department will take up the work of translocating the wild elephant straying near villages in Agumbe and Bidaragodu Gram Panchayat limits after the monsoon.
Following the incident of the elephant attacking a farmer on the fringes of forests near Agumbe village on July 20, the clamour for capturing and shifting it has increased.
It may be mentioned here that the lone 35-year-old tusker here has been frequently straying near villages in the limits of Agumbe, Nalur and Bidaragodu Gram Panchayats in Tirthahalli taluk for the past three years.
The elephants are rarely sighted in mountain terrain of Agumbe. According to officials of Department of Forest, this wild tusker has come from Bhadra wildlife sanctuary.
In April 2014, the elephant had trampled Dharmaiah, a farmer, to death in Malandur village. In September 2015, it entered Agumbe village and destroyed banana plants in the backyards of some houses. Fields in Agumbe, Vatehalla, Kawarihakkalu, Agasarakone, Bidaragodu, and Kanchinahalla villages are often raided by the elephant.
Since April 2014, the Forest Department has received 54 complaints from farmers who said that the elephant has caused major damage to standing crops.
Keshavamurthy, a resident of Agasarakone village, told The Hindu that people in the villages on the fringes of the forest are afraid to venture into their land owing to the elephant’s attacks. Agricultural activities have taken a hit in the region owing to the delay in shifting the animal.
Hasirumane Nandan, president, Agumbe Gram Panchayat, said many hamlets in the panchayat limits were deprived of bus services. Children in these hamlets walk to schools through the forests every day. The presence of a wild elephant in the forest has spread fear among the children. Even autorickshaw drivers refuse to ply through these hamlets from dusk to dawn, he said.
Mohan Kumar D., Deputy Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu that permission has been secured from the concerned authorities to translocate the elephant. It has been planned to tranquilise the elephant, capture it with the help of tamed elephants and then translocate it. As Agumbe and surrounding areas receive heavy rain from June to September, it is difficult to capture the animal during this period. The capture will be taken up after the monsoon season, he said.
Following the incident of elephant attacking the farmer near Agumbe, the department has provided a four-wheeler for students of four hamlets, including Agasarakone and Kesaukonda, to commute to the school in Agumbe daily, he added.