Mangaluru: District Forest Officer Dinesh informed the media that after two persons were killed in an elephant attack near Naila in Renjiladi Village of Kadaba Taluk on the morning of February 20, the Forest Department has not stopped the “Operation Elephant”, which was started to capture the wild elephant.
At Naila near Renjilady, there was a protest by villagers on the spot demanding capture of the wild elephant after two persons were killed by wild elephants. Following this, five elephants — Abhimanyu, Prashanth, Harsha, Kanjan and Mahendra were brought from Mattigodu and Dubare Sakane camps in Nagarahole.
In a three-day operation, Forest Department officials and staff led by Deputy Forest Officer (DFO) Dinesh, a team of expert doctors led by Dr Mujeeb from National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NITK), used a drone camera and a thermal scanner to track the movements of the wild elephant and captured a wild elephant in the forest area near Mandekar on the Sunkadakatte – Kombaru road here on February 23.
The remaining three elephants were resting in the Forest Department premises in Nettana and later on Sunday February 26, the three elephants, which were in Nettana on the night of Sunday February 26, were taken to Nagarahole. The villagers have expressed anger over this.
Speaking to the media, District Forest Officer Dinesh said that the operation elephant has not been stopped. However, officials and staff of our Forest Department are patrolling day and night in areas where there are traces of wild elephants. “Following information from the public that they had seen the wild elephants from a couple of places, our staff went there and conducted an inspection,” he said, adding that if wild elephants are found locally, the public can contact the staff at any time.
However, even if a wild elephant is captured alive, the menace of wild elephants in these Kadaba Taluk areas continues. In Kombaru and Siribagal Villages of the Taluk, the problem of wild elephants has increased. In the neighbouring villages of Shiradi and Renjiladi, farmers and rubber-tappers are also in a state of panic as they have lost their lives due to attacks. Wild elephants have been entering the farm orchards and destroying a large number of works. The people here are on the road not only at night but also during the day.
There is a situation where you are afraid to move around. The people who live on agriculture are constantly suffering from the menace of wild elephants. Most of the farmers’ arecanut, rubber, banana, coconut and other agricultural produce have been attacked by elephants and have lost lakhs of rupees.
According to one estimate, at least 3000 to 4,000 arecanut trees, more than 1,000 rubber plants, hundreds of coconut trees, thousands of banana saplings, irrigation pipes that irrigate agriculture are being destroyed by elephants in a year. The Government’s compensation for these damages is meagre.
More than 75 farmers continue to suffer losses due to elephant attacks. The wild elephants, which are stationed in the dense forest areas here, descend into the Country as the evening approaches. They willingly destroy agriculture by keeping a dent in the farms. The farmers tried to chase away the elephants by bursting crackers and fire buster but to no avail. Sometimes elephants are found here even during the day. Due to this, people are afraid to walk on the roads.
The Government should take scientific measures to prevent elephants from entering the habitation areas and ensure adequate compensation for the damage caused to agriculture. The local people are demanding that the Forest Department should immediately catch the elephants and shift them to elephant camps without neglecting them.