Chamarajanagara: The people residing beside wild life sanctuaries and forests are experiencing wild elephant menace. These elephants destroy thousands of rupees worth crops in one night for which farmers spent years to grow. The farmers staying in elephant prone areas are praying god to protect crop from wildlife meance.
On other hand, the tourists visiting wildlife sanctuaries are inviting danger by alighting from their vehicles on highways. Many sanctuaries, and forests have State and National Highways passing through it.
Despite warning boards and warnings by Forest Personnel tourists are flouting law, just to take pictures of animals, selfies , and even to feed them. Last week a tourist escaped from wild elephant attack in Maddur Forest Range in Bandipura Tiger Reserve (BTR). The tourist alighted from the car when he saw a wild elephant to take picture. But the tusker ran towards him to attack. However he had a narrow escape. This video clip went viral on social media.
The BTR officials installed boards on National Highway 67 and NH 766 which connects State to Ooty In Tamilnadu and Sulthan Battery in Kerala. The board says not to stop or get down from vehicles, not to take photos of animals, not to give any food and not to throw garbage. But frequently tourists ignore warnings, and go near animals to take pictures to put on social media. When contacted MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary Deputy Conservator of Forests V. Yedukondalu told that tourists stops vehicles, and try to enrage them by loud screaming, and feeding. He said the behaviour of animals are not always the same. They become wild sometimes and have even claimed many lives in various sanctuaries of the country many a times. If the elephants, bisons, tigers and other animals calves die the animals attempt attack on human when they see them, he said.
Further, he added while elephants are grazing in herd in forest they are quiet even when we take pictures. But when they are hurt by villagers while saving crops from destruction they would attack humans, he added.
Wildlife lover Vishnu said that from March to June the number of tourists increases every year due to summer vacation. “The Forest Department should deploy beat vehicles on National Highways to ensure safety of wildlife. He said the department has banned feeding animals since the abnormal chemical food would affect the health of animals as they consume natural fodder always. In Bandipura a tiger attempted to attack bike riders last year, and the video went viral.”
A forest checkpost employee said that while opening the gate we instruct every vehicle drivers not to stop vehicles in the forest area but they don’t listen.