A herd of five elephants on Saturday morning strayed into the farms adjacent to Sanamavu Reserve Forests (SRF) in Krishnagiri district, damaging the crops ready for harvest and sending the residents in the locality panicking.
“A herd of five wild elephants strayed into our farms and damaged the crops, including ragi, paddy and coconut, that were almost ready for harvest,” said K Raju, a resident of SRF hamlet. The elephants damaged the crops on farms in and around Sanamavu and Podur Pallam villages.
According to local people, the herd of elephants, comprising three tuskers and two female jumbos, were seen roaming in the Udedurgam Reserve Forests for the past 20 days. “The animals moved to SRF three days back. While moving from one forest area to another, they damage crops cultivated on that stretch,” residents said.
Local residents, meanwhile, urged forest officials to drive the rogue elephants away to Karnataka forests or SRF. Following this, a team of forest officials managed to send them packing to Melumalai Reserve forest by Saturday evening. The elephants are expected to cross the Hosur-Krishnagiri National Highway near Gobasandiram, Melumalai or Soolagiri villages in a couple of days.
“We chased away the elephants with torches and firecrackers,” forest officials said and added that they were yet to ascertain the damage caused to the crop. “Residents will be compensated for loss,” they said.