Elephant herd creates tension in Haadanuru (India)


The Hindu

Date Published

A herd of about 25 to 30 elephants strayed into human habitation at Haadanuru in Hediyala range of Bandipur National Park in what is seen as an intensification of man-animal conflict.

The herd moved into Haadanuru and surrounding places late on Saturday night and stayed put till Sunday morning. The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Venkatesh, said the elephants were driven back into the forests but not before some high drama.

He said the village being very close to the forest witnesses such incidents and it was common for elephant herds to come to the village at night and leave at dawn. But on Sunday they stayed on and a section of the villagers pelted stones at the herd aggravating the tension.

But the Forest Department managed to bring the situation under control by pacifying the crowd and nudging the elephants back to the forests. Omkara and Hediyala range has a high density of wildlife, including elephants, and witnesses frequent incursion of animals into human landscape. Haadanuru is also the place where a farmer was mauled to death by a tiger recently.

Meanwhile, sources said the elephant incursion was facilitated by the poor maintenance of the elephant proof trenches and non-functioning of the solar fences. “A few villages tend to fill the EPT with silt to secure path for their cattle which are led into the forests for grazing. The elephants use the same path to cross to the villages,” said the sources.

Though the State government has sanctioned funds for installing rail track fences as a permanent solution to prevent elephants from straying out of forests, it is yet to be implemented.

Meanwhile, a senior Forest Department personnel said most of the forest boundary around Bandipur has been secured and there was a gap between Hediyala and Omkara which was yet to be bridged.

Haadanuru is also the place where a farmer was mauled to death by a tiger recently.