Three lone elephants wander away from Koundinya, raid crops and mango orchards in Chittoor

Tirupati: Three lone elephants, which prowled near the villages of Vengalarajukandriga and Nagari mandals in Chittoor district three days ago, were now giving tense moments to farmers in the villages of Renigunta and Yerpedu mandals, near Tirupati.

The elephants, which are believed to have left the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary on the Palamaner-Kuppam border a week ago, have resorted to raiding crops in a dozen villages across these four mandals, at a time when orchards of mango trees in the region are installed. for fruiting.

Field activity is considered a big decoy for wild elephants.

The three elephants from the Koundinya sanctuary, located on the western side of the district, traveled more than 150 km to reach the eastern side of the district. After reaching the mandals of Vengalarajukandriga and Nagari, they began to invade crops in nearby fields for a week and reportedly felled trees in mango orchards.

Through Nagari, the herd slowly moved into Renigunta mandal, reaching as far as Vikruthamala, Gudimallam, Kukkalagunta and other areas of Yerpedu mandal on Tuesday and was now moving near the borders of Srikalahasti mandal, 175 km from the sanctuary belt.

“When we saw the presence of elephants in the forest areas adjoining Karvetinagaram, Panabakam and Surendrapakam in the eastern part of the district, it was first thought that they came from the Seshachalam forests. However, after following their paths, it appeared that the herd came from the Koundinya sanctuary of the western belt,” a senior forestry official told this newspaper.

A Vikruthamala farmer in Yerpedu mandal said elephants destroyed his mango orchard causing a loss of several hundred thousand rupees. Another farmer from Munagalapalem also suffered from the loss of her paddy crop. However, forestry officials assured him that farmers, who complained about crop losses caused by elephants, would be compensated.

“We are also taking precautionary measures to prevent the herd from entering human dwellings and trying to reunite them with the herd they separated. We have deployed observers and trackers, and from now on they have been diverted to the forest area of ​​the Chelluru reserve,” he said.

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