The Nilgiris South Forest Division is closely monitoring a herd of elephants that is sighted almost every day along the Manjur-Geddai-Mulli Road for the last few months.
The herd of five elephants had been visiting the Melur Slope Reserve Forest over the last two years, said C. Ramachandran, Kundah Forest Range Officer.
“The elephants now have a good source of food and water in the reserve forest, and are found in the area throughout the year,” added Mr. Ramachandran.
The herd is using the road frequently to reach their feeding grounds, increasing the chances of them coming into conflict with motorists.
Anti-poaching watchers have been mobilised to keep a track of the animals and to ensure that car and bus drivers do not exceed speed limits and cause any danger to the animals.
The herd had travelled up the road right up to Denad last year due to the drought, but the growth of lemon grass in their home range has led the animals to becoming extremely calm. Forest department staff said that the animals had damaged crops last year when food was scarce, but were not a threat to humans or plantations as there is adequate food in their habitat.
“We are working closely with the police and also with the check post at Mulli to ensure that motorcyclists are not allowed along the route after 6 p.m.. We are asking drivers of vehicles to be cautious while using the road,” said Mr. Ramachandran.