Elephants damage crops near Soolagiri (India)


Times of India

Date Published
KRISHNAGIRI: Two elephants damaged crops near Beerpalli in Soolagiri block in Krishnagiri district during the wee hours of Wednesday. According to farmers, the two animals damaged crops including tomato, mango and banana trees in agricultural fields spread across 3 acres. “We have faced losses worth Rs.5lakh in the elephant raid,” said R Poongodi, a woman farmer from Beerpalli village. 

She lost close to 500 banana trees and an acre of tomato in the Wednesday raid. According to her, the elephant herd came from Soolagiri Reserve Forest to Beerpalli. 

Similarly, the elephants damaged 20 coconut trees belonging to farmer K Nanjundan’s. They also damaged his mango plants and water pipe lines laid for drip irrigation purposes. 

Meanwhile, the affected farmers are demanding the state government and forest department take stern action to chase jumbos back into deep reserve forest area. “Recently, a herd consisting of 60 elephants including nine calves, damaged crops in agricultural fields spread across 10 acres in our village. At that time, the farmers faced losses worth Rs.10lakh,” said MR Sivasami, state president of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam. 

He further said that the human-elephant conflict has intensified near Soolagiri, Denkanikottai and Anchetty Reserve Forests as there have been more than 200 raids in the last three months. The farmers also said that elephant menace is not their only problem in the region they are facing. They have also been attacked by wild bores. “We want the forest department officials to shoot all the wild boars. But they are hesitating to do so as they are listed under the prevention of wildlife Act,” Sivasami said.