27 lives lost in 3 years in man-elephant conflict

27 lives lost in 3 years in man-elephant conflict

Forest personnel coming up with new plans to find solution

The Forest Department has been trying hard to check man-animal conflict in its area, yet, 27 people have lost their lives in the last three years in Kodagu.

Wild elephants have been creating havoc in the villages bordering the forests, with both farmers and coffee planters finding it difficult to save their crops. The elephants do not just raid the fields, but also claim lives in some cases.

The menace remains unabated at Shanivarasanthe, Somwarpet and Kushalnagar in the northern parts of the district and Titimathi, Polybetta, Srimangala and Kutta in the south. It is also alleged that farms being developed after encroaching upon the elephant corridor is one of the reasons for the problem going out of hand.

Although some of the rogue jumbos that had created panic at Chettalli, Siddapur and Suntikoppa were caught and released into Dubare elephant camp during November last, the results of the same are awaited. Amidst this, the elephant menace resurfaced at Siddapur two days ago.

The Forest Department has implemented many schemes to prevent jumbos from straying into the wild by building trenches and installing solar fences, iron railings and cement walls, all its efforts have gone kaput.

According to forest personnel, the elephants are attracted towards fruits in coffee plantations.

On the other hand, the Forest Department has taken up production of food for the jumbos, by sowing various kinds of seeds in the forest. Lakes and ponds have been built, desiltation work has been taken up in some lakes. However, lack of rains is yet another reason, as the lakes wait to be filled.

Till November last, Rs 92.77 lakh relief amount was distributed in 2,115 crop loss cases. Six people were trampled to death and 22 cattle were killed, while four people were injured.

In 2015, Rs 1.28 crore relief amount has been disbursed in 3,010 cases. In all, 13 people were killed, eight suffered injuries. A total of 22 cattle had died.

In 2014, Rs 1.62 crore relief was issued in 4,217 crop loss cases. Eight people were killed and five suffered injuries. As many as 25 cattle were also killed.