Elephant destroys crop in village near Coimbatore (India)


Pratiksha Ramkumar, Times of India

Date Published

 An elephant which has been roaming around in Madukarai has caused havoc again, villagers said. On Thursday night, it entered a 17-acre land and destroyed 200 plantain trees, forcing the land’s caretaker and his family to approach the district collectorate for help. 

The farmers’ associations at a farmers grievance meeting at the collectorate on Friday said they had been bringing this complaint for the past six months but no action has been taken. 

Farmers from Madukarai taluk who came for the farmers’ grievance meeting at the collectorate said that the lone elephant was getting more ferocious and damaging crops. 

“We have been bringing complaints regarding this elephant which comes into the village everyday evening around 5.30pm and stays there until dawn, feeding on our crops,” said A Balasubramaniam, district president of Farmers Association. “It also chases and tramples anything it sees in its path,” he said. 

On Thursday night, the elephant reportedly entered into a 17-acre farm of which Madukkarai resident, Saravanan G, takes care of with his family. “The elephant came in at around midnight and stayed till almost 5am in the morning. Not only did it damage the crops, but the presence is scaring because my wife steps out early to put kolam and pluck flowers,” he said. 

The farmers said the district collectorate had informed the forest department and asked them to take action but nothing had been done. “Four months ago, the department promised to tranquilize the elephant and shift it to another forest but claimed the forest veterinarian was unwell,” said the district secretary of the Farmers Association, A Kandasamy. 

“Then they claimed that they did not have a district forest officer to authorize the action. Now we know that the veterinarian was available at the elephant rejuvenation camp and a DFO-in-charge has been appointed,” he said. 

They said this elephant menace has led to milkmen not serving people and farmers and interior villagers and even farm labourers not wanting to come forward to work in those farms.