Jumbos led back to Khanapur forest

Jumbos led back to Khanapur forest

Two wild elephants that had strayed near Yarmal village, on the outskirts of Belgaum City, on Wednesday, were forced back into the Khanapur forest range by forest personnel, on Thursday.

Both are expected to have made it back deep into the forest. 

The forest personnel would camp at Garlgunji for two-days to keep tabs on the movement of the elephants, Deputy Conservator of Forests Ambady Madhav said. Two wild elephants that were separated from their herd in Khanapur range had entered the agricultural lands in Yarmal village, near the human habitat. 

Efforts of the forest department to drive them back to the forests suffered a setback on Wednesday, with residents of Yarmal and other villages surrounding the tuskers and making it difficult for them to move in any direction.

The forest and police departments kept eye on the movement of elephants post Wednesday evening. 

Early Thursday morning, both the elephants moved towards Halaga village, close to Pune-Bangalore national highway. 

Forest personnel again used various modes to direct them towards the forest.  Residents of Halaga resorted to beating drums and playing band instruments to frighten the pachyderms, but it did not yield results.  

Late in the afternoon, both elephants were first forced to move towards Halaga village, and later towards Yellur, Sulga, Rajhansgad and finally towards Garlgunji in the Khanapur forest range. By early evening the elephants had moved inside the forest.

Deputy Range Forester Nagaraj Nirwani said both elephants had been whisked towards the forests in Khanapur range and their personnel were keeping tabs on their movement. 

Ambady Madhav said two male elephants that had strayed into Beedi and Golihalli villages in Khanapur Taluk about 25 days ago might have entered Belgaum Taluk due to shortage of food in the forest with bamboos flowering. 

He said as they had got a taste of sugarcane and plantain, they could return. 

About 25 forest personnel and 15 police personnel whisked the pachyderms 25 km away into the forests at Garlgunji, he added.

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