DINDIGUL: Sleepless nights of villagers around Kannivadi areas, due to the fear of wild elephants entering their residential areas, finally came to an end on Friday with the arrival of our hero - Kaleem. The Dindigul forest division officials brought kumki Kaleem from Top Slip in Pollachi to drive away a herd of elephants camped in the areas of Kannivadi, Aadalur, Pannaipatti Kombai, Nayodai, etc.
Residents complained that for the past one-and-a-half months, these elephants have been damaging their agriculture fields. Watchers' continuous efforts in driving them away by bursting firecrackers, however, did not solve the issue. On Friday around 5 pm, a 30-member team comprising guards and anti-poaching watchers reached the Pannaipatti Kombai area along with kumki Kaleem.
Speaking to TNIE, District Forest Officer (DFO) S Prabhu said that for the past one-and-a-half months the villagers around the Kannivadi areas have been facing wild elephant menace. "Nearly 14 elephants entered various parts of these areas. Though we drove them to Western Ghats areas, they were spotted again. Based on our request, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Syed Muzammil Abbas, gave permission to use kumki elephants to drive away wild elephants into the forest. If the situation is not under control then we will use more kumkis in the future."
It is of note that on April 13, a 49-year-old anti-poaching watcher, S Sundar, was trampled to death by an elephant during an operation to drive out an elephant at Kannivadi block range in the Dindigul forest division.