Jumbo herd roams in village near Coonoor, destroys crops (India)


Times of India

Date Published

Udhagamandalam: Villagers of Thuthurmattam, near Coonoor in the Nilgiris, has asked the forest department to drive away a herd of elephants camping near the village, posing a threat to life, for over one week. Cultivated land in the village has been destroyed by these jumbos.

A herd of seven jumbos, including two calves, have been camping in Thuthurmattam village for over a week. “The elephants disappear during night hours. But they keep visiting our village during the day. We have been afraid to leave our home,” said one villager. While they have complained to the forest department, they allege that the officials have turned a blind eye to their predicament.

Thuthurmattam village is located at the junction of Kundha and Coonoor reserve forest areas, just 200 meters away. “Since many of the cultivated lands are not fenced, the elephants have easy access to the crop,” said C Shiva, Coonoor forest range officer in-charge.

A team of forest staff has been deployed in the village to provide safety to the public by monitoring the movements of the jumbos, according to the forest official.

“The adult jumbos are very protective of their two calves. Hence we are finding it difficult to drive them back into the forest,” said Shiva.

He said that additional personnel have been deployed to protect both the animals and the villagers.