Palani: Wild elephants destroy crops

PALANI: Several acres of standing crops, including perennial crops, near Sattaparai were destroyed when two wild elephants ran amuck in agriculture fields on Sunday. The elephants came down from the reserve forests in lower Palni hills and raided maize field and other farms.

When villagers tried to drive them into forests from the maize field, the angry elephants entered into neighbouring coconut and guava farms and uprooted several trees. Eye witnesses said that the elephants were confused and irritated as villagers surrounded them and tried to drive them in all directions. With persistent threat from all corners, these elephants ran from one corner to another corner of the field destroying crops.

Moreover, live electric fence around some farms too angered these wild animals. These animals have been camping in the farms near the village since Saturday night. They were standing just half kilometre away from Sattaparai-Ayakudi main road. Vehicle movement was also stopped fearing that the animal could attack people at any time.

But no forest officials came to the spot till Sunday evening. Having tired of contacting forest officials, local people have been struggling to drive these wild animals in an unorganised manner.

If forest officials do not come to their help, these elephants will destroy several acres of maize crop, a major crop in Palani taluk, farmers said.

The sudden raid by the wild animals was not new to several villages near Ayakudi and other areas along lower Palni hills. “We had appealed to forests officials to install solar fence or dig a pit along reserve forests to prevent entry of wild animals into villages. We will incur a huge loss when these animals stay in agri-field for a single night,” farmers said.

When the mating season starts, the quantum of destruction will be more, they said.

From THE HINDU

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