Fence planned to prevent elephants from coming out of tiger reserves (India)
Times of India
February 10, 2024
Within five days two individuals, one of whom was a forest guard, have
tragically lost their lives in separate incidents of elephant attacks near
human settlements on the fringes of tiger reserves.
The unsettling recurrence of such incidents has sown fear among villagers
residing on the fringes of forested areas, who are now demanding foresters
to take measures to prevent elephants from coming out of reserve forests.
Elephants have been observed frequently near villages, particularly during
the early hours of the day, prompting forest officials to issue warnings
advising villagers to remain vigilant during these vulnerable times.
Though the forest personnel tipped off about the presence of elephants to
the residents of Muduganooru village in Hunsur, a 75-year-old Cheluvaiah
was fatally attacked by a tusker on Saturday. He was working in the field
when the incident happened early in the day, but he didn’t respond to the
alert by the personnel and was trapped. The incident spot was just 400
meters away from Nagarahole forest.
On Thursday, a forest staffer was attacked and killed by an elephant near
his village in Kebbepura Haadi, some 300 meters away from the Bandipur
Tiger Reserve. He was on his way back to work when the tragedy happened.
In both incidents, elephants have come out of the forest from unguarded
areas and attacked the villagers early in the day. Bandipur director P
Ramesh Kumar and Nagarahole director Harshakumar Chikkanaragund said
measures are being taken up to prevent elephants from coming out of forests
apart from creating awareness and providing information about elephant
movements to villagers regularly.
Ramesh Kumar said Kebbepur Haadi residents have requested a gate at the
entrance so that they can close it during the night. There are a few open
areas in Moleyur range where the forest staffer was killed and direction
has been issued to envelop the areas to stop elephants from drawing near to
Harshakumar said regularly the department is increasing fencing work be it
railway barricade, elephant-proof trench, or solar fencing to stop
elephants from coming out of forest areas. Still, some patches are open and
work is underway. After the incident at Muduganooru village, vulnerable
places in Veeranahosahalli have been fenced, he said.