VELLORE: A tusker has been straying into the forests in Tamil Nadu bordering Andhra Pradesh at Ambur near here triggering anxiety among the local villagers.
The elephant was sighted by the local villagers in the woods in Durgam reserve forests near Bairappally in Ambur in the district on Friday.
It is believed to have been foraging into Tamil Nadu forest area straying from the nearby Koundinya wildlife sanctuary located in bordering Andhra Pradesh.
Local villagers have sighted the elephant on Friday at Oottal forests near Bairapalli,” said A Manoharan, a local activist.
The villagers recalled that a set of 4 elephants had strayed into the same forest area 2 years ago creating panic and fear among the dwellers of the hamlets adjoining the forest. Again now, they fear the elephant moving in the woods may cause trouble
A top Forest department official said the pachyderm could have strayed into the Tamil Nadu forest area from a sanctuary in the neighbouring State.
It should have strayed from Koundinya wildlife sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh. We are keeping vigil in the forest area,” R Murugan, district forest officer (DFO), Tirupattur Division, told Express on Tuesday.
As the water sources in the forest areas have dried, more animals are expected to move astray searching for water and edibles.
Taking into account the damage the straying animals would inflict, the Forest department personnel have started to fill water in the troughs in the woods.
At Oottal, close to the place the tusker is straying, the trough was swelled with water on Tuesday.
Since the stretch between Suttagunda and Sarangal is considered an elephant corridor, several other mammoth animals may forage for water as the summer progresses.
Villagers in the area have been advised not to roam into the woods.
Since straying alone, the tusker may be violent. It may run amok and damage crops and attack humans. So, we have alerted and advised the local people not go into the forests,” a senior Forest department official said.
It may be noted that the people of Vaniyambadi neighbouring Ambur were scared of an elusive leopard recently when it strayed close to habitats. It had attacked seven villagers before fleeing away.