Elephants Take Morning Stroll in Tumkur
By Devaraj B Hirehalli | Published: 03rd February 2014 07:41 AM |
Fear struck the people of Tumkur when three elephants strayed into residential areas of the city on Sunday morning, and brought down the compound wall of a school building.
It took nearly two hours for a posse of 200 policemen and Forest Department officials to drive away the elephants from the city. Officials believe the elephants were in search of water, signalling the shrinking habitat of wildlife leading to man-animal conflicts.
The three elephants had separated from a herd of nine and entered the city’s outskirts at Shettihalli on Saturday night. By around 5 am, they were wandering around Siddaganga Institute of Technology and had come to S S Puram Main Road after crossing the Outer Ring Road.
By 7:30 am, the tuskers moved to Guluru tank and then passed through Gokula Extension, Gangothri Nagar, the arecanut farm at the district police office, the SIT ladies’ hostel area and Ashoka Nagar. They brought down the compound wall of Vasavi High School, eyewitnesses told Express. However, there were no casualties.
Fitness enthusiasts were out on the streets in the morning unaware that the elephants were roaming in residential zones.
Murali, a jogger who had a close encounter, said: “I was taken aback to see the elephants in the city.”
Deputy Conservator of Forests Amarnath told Express that since the elephants did not return to their habitat in Bannerghatta, tamed elephants have been sought to drive them back. They were being dispatched from Dubare camp at Kushalnagar and are expected to reach here on Monday.
He said the elephants might have strayed into Tumkur district due to lack of water in their habitat, and the authorities at Bannerghatta are planning to close the exit points there.
An important elephant corridor runs from Bannerghatta to Tumkur through Kengeri, Savanadurga, Shivaganga and Nelamangala, which has a reserve forest that has been encroached upon.