Three tuskers damage standing crops on Pilibhit-Sitarganj border (State of Uttar Pradesh, India) The Times of India January 12, 2021
PILIBHIT: Three elephants, suspected to have got separated from their herd, wreaked havoc on the agricultural fields of Haldua village on Pilibhit-Sitarganj border near Bareilly-Haridwar NH-74 on Sunday afternoon. It is feared that they could also disrupt traffic on the highway.
On Monday, villagers at Haldua said the elephants had caused great damage to standing wheat, mustard and sugarcane crops.
The tuskers were first spotted in Barakoli forest range of East Terai forest division a week ago. The forests have never had any elephant population. It is believed that the trio traversed 40 km from Dolly forest range to reach Haldua village in Uttarakhand bordering Pilibhit district.
While one of the elephants is about 20 years old, the other two are estimated to be aged eight-nine years.
Their presence has revived horrific memories of two jumbos from Nepal’s Shukla Phanta wildlife sanctuary that entered Pilibhit in the last week of June, 2019 and travelled through Pilibhit, Bareilly, Rudrapur and Rampur in a span of 20 days, leaving behind a trail of destruction and killing five people.
“Wild elephants turn aggressive after coming in contact with humans who normally assemble as spectators near them and make loud noises to drive them away,” said Pinaki Prasad Singh, chief conservator of forest in Jhansi who was posted in Bareilly in 2019.
Foresters are now engaged in facilitating safe passage to the jumbos so that they return to their natural habitat without being disturbed by humans.