Elephant menace: Villagers living under threat in CG (Bilaspur, India)


Times of India

Date Published


Surguja, Korba and Raigarh districts of Chhattisgarh are facing wild elephant menace these days. While a farmer was seriously injured in an attack by a wild elephant during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, two large rampaging herds of wild elephants have destroyed a house and paddy crop in 15 acres area in Boro range of Dharamjaigarh of Raigarh district and another large herd has destroyed crops in large area in Kartala range of Korba district. The herd in Boro range is said to be 76 strong, while that rampaging in Kartala range of Korba is 40 strong.

Neither the villagers, nor forest team has been able to chase away the elephants, simply because of the large size of the herd. Fortunately there has not been any human casualty so far.

According to locals all the fields of the area have paddy crops, which have just begun to fruit. Fragrance from the crop has attracted the herd to the area. The rampaging herd spends the day time in dense forests and venture out to the fields at night. This also forces the villagers to spend nights in open because of the fear of elephants entering into the villages.

Kartala forest range has presence of wild elephants for more than a month now. However, up to now size of a few herds present in the area was small. Only recently several other herds have come to the area and now they are moving in a large herd. While, forest sources claim that the herd is about 40 strong, some locals have claimed it to be more than 50 strong.

The large herd is camping in forests of Madwani area of Kartala range for the last couple of days.

Forest officials are busy trying to keep the elephants from entering the villages, as well assessing damage caused by wild elephants and preparing compensation cases for affected farmers. Forest officials have also warned the villagers to not to venture out to forests.

Meanwhile, in Surguja a farmer was seriously injured by a wild elephant during intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. The victim had gone to his field to guard his paddy crop. He was unaware about presence of a herd of wild elephants.

During his watch over the crop the farmer lit his torch, which disturbed some wild elephants present nearby. Before the farmer could escape, one elephant caught him with its trunk and thrashed him on the ground.

The victim, identified as Turan Gond, of Okra village under Rajpur had gone to the fields along with four other villagers.

While the others managed to flee as the wild elephants charged, Turan was caught by one of them. He was later rescued by the villagers and brought to health centre at Rajpur from where he was referred to district hospital at Ambikapur.