Tuskers menace at Dalma, several houses destroyed (India)


The Avenue Mail

Date Published
Jamshedpur : A herd of elephants has destroyed several houses by straying into human habitat at Dalma. Concerned over the rising elephant menace, the forest department has decided to press an anti-deportation team for driving the marauding jumbos from the human habitat.
A herd of tuskers from Chandil in Seraikela-Kharsawan district spread panic among villagers by destroying their huts at Chaliyama village inside Dalma wildlife sanctuary. The Dalma elephants had caught the annual migratory route to Bengal in August-September last year and are expected to return in the first week of February.
Range officer of Dalma wildlife sanctuary Mangal Kachhap said elephants from Chandil entered into the sanctuary yesterday afternoon and destroyed huts at Chaliyama village located deep into the sanctuary .
According to him, they were trying to drive away the elephants towards areas not very frequented by Dalma’s resident elephants. “We tried to drive them away to areas adjoining Chandil. But the elephants are adamant to move,” Kachhap noted.
Though the fresh herd of tuskers has not yet killed anyone due to the alertness of the villagers, but its presence close to the human habitat may take a toll. The tuskers whose behaviour is a bit eccentric are targeting to stomach jackfruits and stock of paddy while pulling down the houses.
“We are forced to spend sleepless nights. Our lives are at risk due to rampaging elephants. Elephants regularly venture into villages, destroy houses, damage standing crops and even trample people to death. We are forced to work like a ‘night guard’ to save our lives and crops” said Rajeswar Munda, a villager.
He said that rampaging elephants are a cause of concern. Some measures need to be adopted and there is need to do more to protect the people. It is learnt that the movement of the killer horde has increased in that part of the forest area in the last few days. The villagers are upset over the incident.
Stressing upon the need for the anti-deportation team, the a forest official said that the herds of elephants when come closer to the human habitat tends to search for food, and when they fail to get adequate food, they destroy the houses for eating up the paddy stock at the households.
He said that they were trying to save the paddy fields by mobilising villagers . But, they are also contemplating to press into service elephant divers from Bengal.
“We have been asked villagers to make red chilly cakes so as to ward off the elephants. We are also providing them crackers and burnt mobile so that they can drive away the pachyderms, ” he said.