CHITTOOR: Two farmers were injured, one of them critically, after a herd of elephants went amok in Gudurupalli mandal of Chittoor district in the early hours of Friday.
The injured have been identified as Mrugesh and Ganesh. They have been admitted to a hospital in Kuppam town. Mrugesh is said to be critical. Locals told media that three elephants had strayed into the villages abutting the forest area apparently in search of food and water.
Mrugesh and Ganesh were sleeping near the harvested crop in agricultural fields at Sanganapalle village of Gudurupalli mandal when the incident occurred. Villagers, who found the duo with injuries, had shifted Mrugesh and Ganesh to hospital. A forest team visited the village to take stock of the situation.
People living in Peddaparthikunta, Boinpally, Chinaparthikunta, Alugumaipalle and Sanganapalle complained that the pachyderms had damaged crop in their villages.
Elephants, though not original habitants of Chittoor-Kadapa, have been visiting the villages in these districts quite often while moving between the forests in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. They sometimes overstay in Chittoor and Kadapa districts and graze on the vegetable and fruit orchards.
The AP forest department has taken a number of measures to prevent the pachyderms from venturing into human habitations, but the animals are said to have developed a licking for the tomatoes and watermelons grown locally. This forces them to venture into the villages abutting the inter-state forest area.