Elephants run amok in TN's Valparai

Elephants ran amok in the Valparai area of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district in the early hours of Tuesday, days after trampling to death a security guard at a tea garden.

The pachyderms reportedly plundered the kitchen of a bungalow owned by an United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) official, at Periya Kallar in Valparai taluk. They destroyed the kitchen equipment before heading to a residential colony, sources said. The people of the locality escaped unhurt as district forest officials rushed to the spot and took charge of the situation. They ensured that the elephants retreated to the nearby forests.

It is believed that the elephants lost the way to their traditional habitat in the forests of Kerala and accidentally crossed over to Valparai. Four teams of state forest officials were camping there to monitor the situation.

“There is nothing unusual about the elephants’ movement during this time of the year and it cannot be attributed to an increase in the movement of vehicles carrying pilgrims to the Sabarimala temple,” Coimbatore District Collector M Karunakaran told Deccan Herald over the phone.

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