‘Kunkies’ to be deployed to tackle wild elephants (India)


The Hindu

Date Published

The Forest Department officials have decided to deploy kunkies (trained elephants) at V. Kota mandal in order to drive away the crop-raiding elephant herds deep into the forests, and prevent them from damaging the standing crops.

The inhabitants of about half-a-dozen villages in the mandal once again panicked with the return of the two elephants from Nayakaneri forest in the early hours of Monday, leading to crop damage. The wild elephants were sighted inside the forest near Nagireddipalle village in the evening.

Forest Range Officer (Palamaner), Bala Veeraiah, told The Hindu that two kunkies are on their way to V. Kota mandal from Kuppam, and would be stationed at two vulnerable areas by Monday night. “Our plan is the wild elephants getting attracted towards the kunkies will join them. Our trained elephants in turn would take their wild counterparts deep into the forests and would come back,” he said.

About 15 Forest Department officials and some villagers led by Mr. Bala Veeraiah visited the agricultural fields and the elephants track in the mandal. The FRO warned the villagers not to tease the animals and be careful while moving at night. “The farmers are well cooperating with our department. The crop damage is not vast, but limited to a few mango trees and a small stretch of land,” he said.