Intrusion of wild jumbos in residential areas in Coimbatore shoots up
According to data, wild elephants entered residential areas for a total of 2,206 times from the seven forest ranges under Coimbatore and raided crops in 2021.
Published: 12th August 2022 05:55 AM | Last Updated: 12th August 2022 05:55 AM | A+A A-
COIMBATORE: Even as World Elephant Day is being observed on August 12 to create awareness about the protection and to remember how the animal contributes to forest conservation, there is no respite to the forest staff, villagers and farmers, when these animals come out of forests.
According to data, wild elephants entered residential areas for a total of 2,206 times from the seven forest ranges under Coimbatore and raided crops in 2021. However, within seven months (up to July) of 2022, the number has already reached 1,636 and is expected to cross last year's number.
The total number of times the elephants have come out of Boluvampatti, Coimbatore, Madukkarai, Periyanacikenpalayam and Mettupalayam forest ranges (except Coimbatore and Karamadai) in 2022 so far, equals that of 2021. Due to the intrusion of wild elephants, people who have been killed due to wild elephant attacks in the division are inching close to previous year's total number of deaths. While seven people were killed in 2021, four people have been killed so far this year.
The officials have also observed the trend that the wild elephants' eat banana plantation and then coconut, sugarcane and maize once they come out of forests. The official also said that their dedicated 12 team members, consisting of six to eight staff, have averted several incidents of human - elephant interactions and thus reduced conflicts.
District forest officer (DFO) Coimbatore forest division TK Ashok Kumar said, "We are planning to procure battery-operated electric stick, which produces noise and light to scare away elephants, for each forest range, developed by students of a private engineering college in Erode, which is also being used in Sathaymangalam Tiger Reserve (STR). Apart from helping to drive away elephants, this will also ensure safety of the forest staff, as they will know the presence of the other wild animals and they can protect themselves from attacks of wild animals like sloth bear."
"We have decided to raise elephant fodder species in the 2,000 hectares of degraded forests in Mettupalayam and Sirumugai forest ranges under NABARD scheme from next year, apart from raising plantations in another 8 hectares, under Project elephant in Sirumugai forest range. Moreover, we have also received funds to provide solar hanging fences, covering the three tribal villages in Boluvampatti forest range. Once these will come into use, the number of elephants coming out of forests will come down," he added.
Ranges 2021 2022 (Till July end)
Boluvampatti 252 222
Coimbatore 587 336
Karamadai 146 72
Madukkarai 69 68
Mettupalayam 245 244
Sirumugai 366 144
PN Palayam 541 550
Total 2206 1636