The rising mercury level is affecting not only people but wild elephants too. Normally, the district receives the first rain during February-March, but many parts of the district are yet to receive rain even in mid-April.
All the water bodies in forest areas have dried up, due to which elephants have started migrating in search of water and have started entering human habitats and destroying crops.
In some areas like Banavara, Kattepura and Hebbale, wild elephants have created havoc. B K Lingappa, a farmer in Hebbale, told Express that even if forest officials drive elephants back into the forest, they come back the next day.
According to forest officials, the district has nearly 100-120 elephants, of which 40-50 elephants are in the Dubare reserve forest, through which the Cauvery flows.The Yedavanadu reserve forest is another wild elephant habitat, which is near to the Harangi reservoir. An elephant requires at least 150-200 litres of drinking water in the summer, but the lakes have dried up here.
Madikeri division DCF Yedukondalu said that in some areas, the reserve forests are surrounded by human habitats, which cause problems, as the elephants do not stay in one place. He said he has sent a proposal of `20 crore to the government to tackle the wild elephant menace.
Last year the department had sowed 4.5 tonnes of fodder seeds and planted bamboo in 634 hectares in the forest to feed elephants. *This year we will sow 15 tonnes of seed,” he added.