Wild elephant tramples farmer to death in Chittoor

Despite multiple complaints to forest officials, farmers lamented the lack of effective preventive measures.
Image of wild elephant used for representational purpose.
Image of wild elephant used for representational purpose. (File Photo | EPS)

CHITTOOR : The persistent issue of human-wildlife conflict in Chittoor district claimed another life as an elephant trampled a person to death in Ramakuppam mandal. The deceased was identified as Kanna Naik, (50). The incident took place when the farmer was on his way to Diguva Thanda to PMK Thanda.

Farmers in the affected villages have raised alarms over repeated crop raids by elephants, describing the animals’ presence as a looming menace.

Despite multiple complaints to forest officials, farmers lamented the lack of effective preventive measures.

They demanded compensation for crop damage and urged authorities to take immediate action to safeguard their livelihoods.

In response, forest officials asserted their efforts to mitigate conflicts, citing the deployment of drum-beaters and trackers to drive elephants back into forest areas upon receiving alerts from villagers.

They advised residents to move in groups for safety and assured continued support to prevent further crop losses due to elephant raids.

The recent fatality follows previous incidents, including the tragic death of a 45-year-old man in Punganur, who encountered a herd of elephants in Peddapanjani mandal on August 20, 2023. In another incident, elephants rampaged through Diguva Marumuru village and surrounding hamlets in Palamaner constituency earlier this year, damaging banana plantations and prompting locals to intervene to protect their crops.

Moreover, the district has witnessed multiple elephant fatalities in recent months.

Three elephants were fatally struck by a truck near Palamaneru on June 15, 2023, when they attempted to cross a national highway during the night.

Recognising the need for proactive measures, the Forest Department plans to collaborate with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to propose the construction of underpasses at the Bhuthalavanda and Jagamarla cross near the Palamaner Ghat section. These underpasses aim to facilitate safe elephant crossings, reducing the risk of accidents.

In a separate incident, a 16-year-old female elephant died from electrocution in Nallaguntapalli village of Baireddipalle mandal on August 20, 2023. Forest officials had previously alerted the electricity department to suspend power during nighttime hours when elephants are active, emphasising the importance of securing power lines to prevent such tragic incidents.

As the human-elephant conflict continues to escalate in the Chittoor, stakeholders emphasise the urgency of collaborative efforts between government agencies, local communities, and conservationists to foster coexistence while safeguarding lives.

Farmers demand compensation

Despite multiple complaints to forest officials, farmers lamented the lack of effective preventive measures. They demanded compensation for crop damage and urged authorities to take immediate action to safeguard their livelihoods

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