Elephants enter Gadchiroli district once again.


Gadchiroli Oct. 20 (District Correspondent) After a gap of few days, the herd of elephants has once again entered the district of Gadchiroli and has been roaming in Kurkheda Forest Range area presently.

The herd includes 24 elephants including 1 male and 23 female. It has been roaming in the paddy fields in Kurkheda taluka villages after crossing over from the neighbouring Gondiya district where the animals had stayed for couple of weeks.

As the elephants have been destroying the standing paddy crops, the farmers in the area are suffering a lot and quite frightened. The local employees of the forest department, with the help of a special team called from West Bengal have been keeping an eye on these elephants and telling the people not to go near the animals as a precautionary measure, told Dr. Kishor Mankar, Conservator of Forest.

The teams of the Agriculture and Revenue department is conducting the inspection of the crop loss caused by the elephants jointly and the affected farmers will be given the compensation as per the government norms, told Dr. Mankar further. There have been no any reports of the elephants having attacked any human being so far, he added.

The elephants like the paddy crops much and that is one of the reasons that they are staying in the paddy growing areas. It is estimated that these animals may go back to their original habitat after the paddy is collected, according to Dr. Mankar. The animals also like ground nut, charoli, bamboo, sindi etc. also and these varieties also are available in the district in large quantity.

The herd of some 15 elephants had entered Gadchiroli district last year also but after the stay of around two months they had returned. This year’s herd is different from that of the last one, the officer told further.

As elephants are included in Schedule 1, they can’t be captured or tranquilized. However, we are monitoring their movements and ensuring that the animals do not cause any harm to the people and property, told Dr. Mankar. Our field staff and the special team has been asked to be quite alert over the issue, he added. He appealed the farmers and villagers to keep away from the elephants and not to venture in the forest.

A few days back, these elephants had entered the eastern parts of the district from adjoining Chhattisgarh and had damaged some residential houses and crops in Wadsa and Korchi talukas after which they had migrated to Gondiya district and now again have entered in the district. The issue has become quite troublesome not only for the farmers but for the forest department too.



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