Villagers demand solution for wild elephant menace

Villagers and farmers from Aigooru, Kajooru and Yadavare speak to DCF Prabhakaran in Madikeri on Tuesday.

There has been a rise in the wild elephant menace at Aigooru, Kajooru, Yadavare and Garvale villages in Somwarpet taluk. The Forest Department should take suitable measures to mitigate the menace, said farmers and villagers. 

Submitting a memorandum to Madikeri Circle DCF Prabhakaran on Tuesday, the villagers alleged that the Forest Department officials are neglecting the woes of the farmers. 

Coffee Grower Macchanda Prakash Belliappa said, “Wild elephants are straying into villages in Somwarpet taluk and engage in destroying crops. The construction of trenches and solar fences has not been successful in checking the elephant menace. There is a need for a permanent solution to the problems encountered by the residents.” 

Already, growers are in distress with the slash in the price of coffee and pepper. The elephant menace has aggravated the problem. If the Forest Department officials fail to chase elephants back to the forest, then coffee growers and villagers will unitedly stage a protest against the department, he warned. 

Coffee grower Manoj Kumar said, “The elephants fail to get enough food inside the forest. As a result, the elephants have been straying to villages in search of food. The elephants are camping at Aigooru, Kajooru and surrounding villages.” 

Rail fence should be erected as a permanent solution to check wild elephants menace. Only if work on rail fence is taken up can farmers reap the benefit of crops grown by them. Elephants have been engaged in damaging borewells and pipes inside the villages. 

Responding to the growers, DCF Prabhakaran said, “Measures like rail fence and solar fence will be taken up in Somwarpet area to check the elephant menace.” 

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