Gadchiroli Aug. 5 (District Correspondent) The herd of wild elephants that has been creating havoc in the district for the last few days was seen in the forest of village Sonsari in Kurkheda taluka.
The herd is causing a severe loss to the standing paddy crops as it keeps moving through the fields. So far, no any incident of the human loss has been reported, told Mr. Salvitthal, Dy. Conservator of Forest, Wadsa-Desaiganj Division.
The forest department has already conducted the panchanamas of the crop and other losses which come to around 25 lakhs and the compensation will be distributed to the affected people shortly, told the officer further.
It’s a migratory herd which has entered the district from adjoining Chhattisgarh winding through Orissa and Jharkhand. The herd may again move back to its first destination, Salvitthal told. The elephants reached the Wadsa forest division area from the adjoining Gondiya district, he added. No possibility of their return to the district once again can be ruled out, said the officer.
We have formed a Monitoring Team to keep an eye on the elephants and got our staff trained by the Hulla Party. The staff has been working to aware the people about the alertness to be followed during the entry of the elephants in their villages or fields.
The elephants generally eat the green tree branches but as they move through the fields, heavy loss is caused to the crops.
The elephants had damaged some houses of village Ambezari and crops of village Chandona were also badly damaged, it is reported. The herd is presently moving towards village Delanwadi in Armori taluka, it is learnt.
The migratory wild elephants have been coming to the district areas for the last two years. Last year too, they had caused heavy loss to the houses and crops, it should be mentioned here. The forest authorities however, have no any mechanism to catch the animals except driving them away with the help of the villagers by making huge noise.