PALAKKAD:Wild elephants straying out of the forests in Nelliyampathy are turning out to be a menace to the people living in Nelliyampathy for the last couple of weeks. A 72-year-old tribal, Ramankutty from Pullukadu adivasi settlement was admitted with grievous injuries after being attacked by elephants a few days ago.
Tourists who visit Nelliyampathy, a prime tourist destination, are defenceless against wild elephants. Villagers complain that the repeated requests given to take suitable measures to curb the elephant menace have been ignored and wild elephants have destroyed crops in thousands of hectares in the past few months.
Locals said that the problem is growing more severe at Polayan Para and Seetharkundu and herds entering settlements at night and destroying houses, sheds and crops are increasingly common. There are many families who have been forced to relocate to safer zones due to this menace. “We were forced to migrate as tuskers have destroyed our houses and our means of livelihood.
“Living here poses a threat to our lives and leaving the place is the only option we are left with,” says Seethammal Amma, a local. It was reported that there are six to eight elephants in a herd and more often tuskers do the damage at night. “Most of the people here are farmers and they leave for work in the wee hours. It is at this time elephants wreak havoc and farmers here are afraid to venture out now. Many number of tourists visit Nelliyampathy everyday and the menace poses a threat to them as well.