Villager attacked by wild elephant (India)

Villager attacked by wild elephant (India)

The Hindu

August 13, 2009

VELLORE: Sundaramoorthy (18) of Naickanur in the Tirupattur forest division who was injured by a wild elephant straying into farmers’ fields in the village on Sunday succumbed to the injuries at the Government Hospital, Vaniyambadi on Tuesday night.

The wild elephants from Harur forests in neighbouring Krishnagiri district have been frequenting the villages in the Javvadhi Hills in the Tirupattur forest division since June, owing to the monsoon failure and the consequent non-availability of water in the forests, and devouring crops cultivated by farmers in the plains and attacking the villagers. One woman in a village in the Javvadhi Hills near Alangayam was killed by a wild elephant, while three others injured by wild elephants in June. The elephants were driven into the forests in Javvadhi Hills through the efforts of the Forest Department. But later they entered Naickanur via Singarapettai. On Sunday, the pachyderms lifted two persons – Sundaramoorthy and Gopi (37) of Kavalur – by their trunks and threw them on the ground. Both of them were admitted to the Government Hospital, Vaniyambadi, where Sundaramoorthy died on Tuesday, while Gopi is undergoing treatment for a fracture in one of his legs.

Two trained ‘kumki’ elephants requisitioned by the forest department from Pollachi drove away into the forests some of the wild elephants. According to A.V. Venkatachalam, Conservator of Forests, Vellore circle, while drought conditions have caused the drying up of the forests and the dwindling of fodder for the wild elephants, the practice of farmers drawing water from the forests to irrigate their crops abutting the forest area have compounded the water scarcity. The wild elephants stray out into the villages and the farmers’ fields not only in search of water but also in search of food. They are lured by the palatable crops such as paddy, banana, mango and coconut.

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