Elephants damage crops in Bangarpet villages (India)


Vishwa Kundapura, The Hindu

Date Published

After a gap of about two years, tuskers have started causing panic once again in the villages of Bangarpet bordering Tamil Nadu. A herd of three elephants including a calf from Tamil Nadu forests, appeared near Battalhalli over the weekend and caused damage to paddy, jowar and plantain crops in Kadirinatta, Sakarasanahalli and Talur villages.

The elephants also damaged drip irrigation pipes laid in the fields.

However, the Forest Department officials and staff succeeded in driving the animals from Karnataka forest area making people heave a sigh of relief, Bangarpet Range Forest Officer H. Chinnappaiah said.

“All the three elephants were moved to the Gudipalli forest area in Andhra Pradesh. Fire, firecrackers and beating of drums have been used to drive the elephants. The operation lasted till 10 p.m. on Sunday”, Mr. Chinnappaiah told The Hindu on Monday.

The tuskers started entering the forests in Karnataka from Krishnagiri forests in Tamil Nadu about five years ago. According to Forest Department officials, the elephants stray into Karnataka forest area in Kolar district through Beraki bordering Tamil Nadu. They move through Kanamanhalli, Yergol and Thoppanahalli. From there they enter Malur via Mookanur area and move towards V. Kota in Andhra Pradesh border while returning. However they take the same route to go back to Tamil Nadu forests.

Kamasamudra, Shivalingam in Bangarpet taluk and the forest near Masti in Malur taluk also bordering Tamil Nadu are some of the major areas where the elephants enter from.

Ten victims in five years

As many as 10 people have been killed by the wild pachyderms in Kolar district ever since the elephant-human conflict in the region began in 2011. Bangarpet taluk recorded the highest number of casualties. Among the eight dead in the year 2013, five were from Bangarpet taluk alone. Three were from Malur. Two people were trampled to death by elephants in Bangarpet taluk in 2012.

The farmers in Dinneri, Hulkur, Sonnahalli, Chakanahalli, Kuntur, Chikkakadatur, Tamatamakanahalli, Banganatta, Thoppanahalli, Chikkakalavanachi, Kundarasanahalli, Sakarasanahalli and a number of other places in both the taluks suffered crop loss in the last five years.

People in urban areas like KGF and Betamangala also panicked when the tuskers roamed in the surrounding areas.

Wildlife sanctuary proposal pending

“A proposal to create Kamasamudra Wildlife Sanctuary is pending with the government. Providing safe passage to elephants is the intention. Once government gives the nod, work on it will be started,” said Mr. Chinnappaiah.