20 wild elephants spotted in estate near Sakleshpur (India)


The Hindu

Date Published

Residents of Bage village near Sakleshpur are in shock and worry as a group of more than 20 wild elephants have camped in an estate near the village. The herd has been moving nearby for the past few days. The local residents spotted the elephants near the village on Sundayevening and called up the Forest Department officials to drive them back to the forests.

The villagers were worried because the place where the elephants were spotted was close to two schools, including a private residential school. The elephants are roughly one-and-half-a-kilometre away from National Highway 75 that passes through the village. “The herd has been moving around this place for the past one week. As we have noticed, one of the elephants has given birth to a baby in the last week. Since then the elephants in the group have been cautious and they are not responding to our efforts to send them back to the forests”, said Ramesh Babu, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Sakleshpur.

The villagers tried to drive away the elephants by bursting crackers on Sunday; however, they did not succeed. Dharesh, a resident of the village, told The Hindu, “People are worried as the herd is very close to human habitat. The animals can reach NH 75 by walking a kilometre. There are two schools in the village. We were worried about the consequences if the elephants tread into the village during school hours”.

The Forest Department officials are camping in the village to ensure that the elephants do not reach the highway. “Once they reach the highway it would be difficult to handle the situation. We have to clamp prohibitory orders and stop vehicles, besides declaring a holiday for schools in the area. As of now, the elephants are in an estate”, said Mr. Ramesh Babu.


The villagers have been demanding a permanent solution to the elephant menace. They demand that all elephants be captured and relocated. M.L. Nagaraj, Deputy Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu, “I have written to the department seeking permission to capture one elephant which recently killed a person in Alur taluk. I am waiting for the response. However, it is a difficult task to capture all and relocate them. Two years ago, we captured 22 elephants and relocated them. Now, an equal number of elephants has been added”.