Jackfruits removed from trees near power lines in Nilgiris to save elephants

Kotagiri forest range officer S Selvaraj said instructions have already been given to private land owners in Kunjapanai and Mamaram.
Nilgiris forest division staff are engaged in removing the jackfruit to prevent the elephant human negative interactions.
Nilgiris forest division staff are engaged in removing the jackfruit to prevent the elephant human negative interactions. (Photo | Express)

NILGIRIS: To prevent the electrocution of wild elephants, officials of the Nilgiris forest division have started removing jackfruits from trees that are close to overhead power lines in and around Coonoor and Kotagiri. The decision was taken after an elephant was electrocuted when it tried to reach the fruit in a private land at Kunjapanai in Kotagiri last month.

S Gowtham, District Forest Officer of Nilgiris Forest Division, said “We have instructed estate authorities and private land owners in Kotagiri and Coonoor to remove all jackfruits from trees. If required, the trees will also be cut to facilitate free movement of wild animals. If land owners and estate authorities do not take down the fruits, our staff will do it. We want to remove all jackfruits that are close to power lines both within and outside the forests. The jackfruit season begins soon and the fruits grow abundantly in Coonoor, Kundah, Kotagiri, Kilkotagiri,” he said.

Kotagiri forest range officer S Selvaraj said instructions have already been given to private land owners in Kunjapanai and Mamaram.
“Even though we manage to chase back elephants inside the forest whenever the animals get close to jackfruit trees, we keep witnessing negative human interaction and conflict situations. This initiative will definitely help us to mitigate the problem,” he added.

DFO Gowtham further said that sagging power lines in the reserved forest areas and Patta lands have been identified, and the details shared with TANGEDCO for corrective measures which would be initiated in a couple of weeks.

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