‘Bachelor’s Group’ of jumbos heading towards Seshachalam hill range (State of Andhra Pradesh, India) The Hindu January 10, 2021
The three-member group of wild elephants from the Tamil Nadu forests, which had entered Chittoor district a fortnight ago, is heading towards the Seshachalam biosphere.
The group has so far made a march of over one hundred km – from Vellore district (T.N.) to Vadamalapeta of Karveti Nagaram range in Chittoor district.
An unusual phenomenon of the group, known as the Bachelor’s Group in the Forest Department parlance, is that its movement is unheard of in the present path of its march – from Chittoor Municipal Corporation limits to the extreme limits of the Karveti Nagaram range.
During its “jumbothon,” the group had rarely strayed into the agriculture fields, but confined its movement through forests and gorges, feeding on natural fodder and quenching thirst in water bodies inside the jungles.
Since a fortnight, the forest personnel are on the trio’s trail, deploying drones and elephant-trackers.
On Sunday evening, the group, an adult male followed by two juvenile tuskers, was spotted at Battikandriga beat of the Karveti Nagaram range.
Forest Range Officer Sivanna told The Hindu that the group was not creating any problem to the farmers. “We expect that the elephants have an inclination to move into the Seshachalam hills, using the connectivity path towards the Panapakam,” he said.
The Chamla Valley and the S.V. National Park areas of the Seshachalam hills hold an elephant population of more than 40.
Once the group enters the Panapakam beat, it would be right into the Seshachalam hills, he said.
It is further observed that the natural faculties of smell will help the pachyderms join their counterparts in the interiors. The movement of wild elephants in Chittoor and Kadapa districts is being observed for the last over four decades.
In the late 1970s, the Asiatic elephant species made its re-emergence at the Kuppam tri-State junction. In the later years, two or three herds had crossed into the Seshachalam ranges after a long march covering 200 km, or more, through the Palamaner and Piler ranges in the western side.
Again, the present herd from the T.N. forests moving towards the Seshachalam hill range is said to be a first of its kind, as it has taken an altogether new path through the eastern parts of the district.
It is also a harbinger of several jaunts of the jumbos into the Seshachalam biosphere in the core area of Rayalaseema, besides “rejuvenating” the erstwhile migratory corridor, extending the link as far as the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary and Bhannergatta forests of Karnataka.