SRIKAKULAM: People of Mandasa mandal are reeling under a new threat of destruction of crops like cashew, mango and banana from pachyderms. A herd of seven elephants entered the district recently from Odisha. With the new herd, total 11 elephants are now sheltered in the district.
The new herd comprises a male tusker, three kids and three female elephants. The new herd entered the Budambu reserve forest area in Mandasa mandal on May 7, while the old herd came in 2007. The old herd comprises four female elephants and they are presently sheltered at Chinna Badda village of Sitampeta agency mandal.
The elephants come to the forest for food, bamboo, cashew and jack-fruit which are now blooming in the reserve forest area. This apart, sufficient water is also available in the forest due to the rains in March this year.
“After 50 years, the elephants came to the forest in Mandasa. They came on May 7, they went back to Odisha on May 9 and again entered on May 11. As there was no food available in Odisha, the elephants entered the Andhra forests,” an official said.
The official further said they were yet to asses the loss to the crops by the elephants in some areas of the mandal as per the complaints from the locals.
Srikakulam collector K Dhananjaya Reddy told TOI, “We will instruct the officials concerned including forest department to take all possible steps to ensure elephants, people and even crops do not get harmed. I will also alert the people.”