TUMAKURU: The district has become a habitat for a herd of elephants from Savanadurga forest area.
A herd of eight elephants, which strayed into the rural areas of the district on Wednesday evening, has now reached the Gubbi tank which is brimming with water.
They have also been roaming in the vicinity of other tanks such as Gangasandra and Lakshmanasandra. Coconut, areca, plaintain, paddy, vegetable and ragi farms in the area have been destroyed by them.
The villages of Dholanahallli, Prabhunalahalli and Adagur in Gubbi taluk are the worst-hit by the elephant menace.
The elephants, which were originally from Bannerghatta forest, had earlier made Savadurga in Magadi taluk of Ramanagaram district their habitat.
For some years, the elephants also strayed into Adarangi forest in Nelamangala taluk, Gurulu, Mallasandra, Gubbi and up to Tiptur area.
Environmentalist T V N Murthy said the loss of habitat due to rapid ur banisation in Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagaram districts have made elephants stray into Tumakuru district.
However, stone quarrying in the rural areas of these districts has affected the flora and fauna, he added.
“The elephants can make these wet areas especially those surrounding the Hemavathy river canals in Tumakuru as their permanent habitat,” assistant conservator of forests Devaraj said.
“Every time, we succeed in driving them back to Savanadurga forest. But they continue to stray into the same corridor in search of food,” he added.
Nishanth, a researcher on elephants, said the elephants have found a habitat in the district.
“It can provide them food round the year. An elephant-proof barrier will be a remedy to the problem,” he suggested.