Wild elephant, calf knocks on house looking for food near Maruthamalai, Tamil Nadu

Forest officials denied allegation that they arrived late to chase the elephants away.
People in the locality were woken up after hearing the barking of dogs and alerted others.
People in the locality were woken up after hearing the barking of dogs and alerted others.

COIMBATORE:  Residents of Leprosy Colony near Maruthamalai were jolted out of their sleep on Thursday night when a wild elephant along with its calf knocked on a house in search of food and water.
The animal was attracted by the smell of rice, sources said. People in the locality were woken up after hearing the barking of dogs and alerted others.

Forest officials denied the allegation that they arrived late to chase the elephants away. “The colony is located 50 metres from Maruthamalai forest and the animals might have entered the colony drawn by the smell of food being prepared in the houses. We reached the spot immediately and chased the animals away. The animals did not cause any damage,” an official said.

He added that the animal refused to move inside the forest despite bursting crackers. That’s why there was a delay in diverting the animal. “The people claimed three doors were damaged by the animal. During an inspection on Thursday morning, our staff found only one door was damaged. We will provide compensation soon as per the procedures,” the official said. A team of 12 forest staff and volunteers are monitoring the area to prevent elephant-human interaction, he added.  

In another incident, a herd of three elephants destroyed banana plantations at Nanjegounden pudur in Mettupalayam. It may be recalled that recently a tusker damaged a ration shop at Maruthapuram and consumed ration rice. Another elephant entered Anna University campus and consumed rice stored there. Due to the increase in movement of the wild animals, people living inside and around IOB colony are afraid to come out before dawn and after dusk.

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