Farmers urge Forest Dept. to capture crop-raiding elephant (Coimbatore, India)


The Hindu

Date Published

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Farmers on Monday picketed the office of the District Forest Officer pressing Forest Department to capture an elephant that is reportedly raiding crops in Coimbatore rural.

According to them, a seven-year-old female elephant causing damage to crops in places like Thippanur, Pannimadai, and Varappalayam, must be caught as in the case of a three-year-old male calf tranquillised and caught from Mangarai on Tuesday.

S. Ramasubramanian, DFO, pacified the agitated farmers and assured them that the elephant will be caught after obtaining necessary order from Chief Wildlife Warden V.K. Melkani.

The farmers, led by A. Kandhasamy of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, informed forest officials that the elephant, with an injured mouth, is roaming in farmlands close to forest in the three villages. They also said that farmers in the region are afraid of going out in the early hours and night because of the elephant.

Mr. Kandhasamy said that the Forest Department is not catching the elephant despite having obtained an order on March 8. The elephant is hanging around agricultural fields and inflicted damages to a banana plantation at Thippanur on Wednesdaymorning.

However, Mr. Ramasubramanian said that the injured female elephant is not causing crop damages as alleged by farmers.

“It is primarily feeding the fodder placed by forest staff apart from supplementary foods like miller mixture. The animal is under our observation and responding to treatment,” he said.