Officials are due to come up with a plan of action in a week to review the elephant threat

With the elephant threat in the district unabated, forest officials have put forward a plan of action to combat human-animal conflict in the three-state crossroads, including the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kuppam, Palamaner, Punganur and Chittoor West ranges . flanked by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Chittoor forager M. Hari Narayanan asked forest officials during a meeting here on Thursday to come up with a plan of action to address the ongoing problems caused by wild elephants in the area.

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar informed the collector that the elephant population in the Koundinya Elephant Project Zone in the western mandalas, which was just eight in 2012, had increased to 90, an increase of more than ten times.

The official said 10 people had died in human-animal conflict incidents since 2013, apart from 13 pachyderms. “In the Palamaner Mountains, fences and ditches were built on almost 4,500 hectares. However, wild elephants are often separated from their herds and venture into human dwellings, attacking people and looting plants in the forest edge areas, although there is sufficient water and food available in the forests, ”said the DFO.

Incidents of animals moving closer to human habitation have increased due to the restricted movement of vehicles amid restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. DFO (East Wildlife) GG Narentheran observed that the close proximity of the three-state junction to the elephant corridor that spans the forests of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka resulted in the free movement of pachyderms.

Ex gratia for victims

Because the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary and SV National Park are closely linked in the Seshachalam Hill Ranges, the elephants frequently cross highways and plunder grain fields. Desperate to protect their crops, farmers lose their lives trying to scare away the animals.

The Collector asked the DFOs to come up with the proposals within a week, along with a plan of action to reinforce the trenches and issues related to the payment of ex gratia to those who died in elephant attacks and compensation for crop losses.

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