Two elephants found near human settlement chased back into forest (India)


Times of India

Date Published
ERODE: Two elephants including a tusker were chased back into the forest by forest officials after villagers found them gracing close to their area in Bhavanisagar in Sathyamangalam taluk on Friday.
According to the officials, it took them nearly five hours to chase the jumbos back into the woods.
“After closely monitoring the elephants’ movement, we lead them back towards the Bhavanisagar dam forest region using tom-toms, torches and crackers,” said forest officials.
“Efforts had to be taken in order to avoid man-animal conflict in human settlement areas. The elephants will now begin to move towards the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and our forest personnel are keeping a close watch,” the officials added.
About 3am early Friday morning, a few villagers of Periyakallipatty and Olakkaranpalayam near Bhavanisagar panicked after finding the two jumbos close to the village. Over 500 people from the area staged a road roko on Sathyamangalam-Mettupalayam state highways demanding that officials chase the two animals back into the forest. About 60 forest personnel from the Erode district forest department came to the spot and began operation to chase the jumbos. Meanwhile, villagers alleged that ‘Elephant Proof Trench’ (EPT) which was created by the Erode district forest department to prevent man-animal conflict did not meet the government guidelines. “The small EPTs made across STR are too small that elephants are able to easily cross them,” said ‘Solavanur’ Giri, a member of Farmers Protection Association.
When contacted by TOI, deputy director of STR K Rajkumar said that they were facing issues due to boulders. “Boulders have prevented us from digging deeper EPTs. So, we are in the process of blasting the boulders with explosives. We will dig deep EPTs after the work is complete,” he said.