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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Farmer killed in elephant attack near Gudiyatham- Mrit News

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The incident occurred at Sarinagunda village bordering the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary

The incident occurred at Sarinagunda village bordering the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary

A 46-year-old farmer was killed by a wild elephant on the fringes of Sarinagunda Reserve Forest (RF), near Gudiyatham, in Vellore.

Forest officials said K. Subramani, a farmer from Sarinagunda village bordering the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary in Chittoor, had cultivated sugarcane on a three-acre plot near the village. Around 2 a.m., when he was guarding the field, a herd of 11 elephants from the sanctuary strayed into it. He tried to flee but one of the animals attacked him. He died on the spot.

“The elephant attack happened near the forest bordering the sanctuary. The lone tusker, which was damaging crops in the Gudiyatham range, has not been spotted for a week in our limits. This leads us to believe it may have joined the herd,” Saravanan Babu, Forest Range Officer (Gudiyatham), told The Hindu.

As news of the incident spread, farmers and residents of the village gathered and blocked Gudiyatham-Palamaner Main Road. They dispersed after the police and revenue officials pacified them. Residents demanded that the Forest Department dig up trenches and erect fences. They also demanded regular patrols by anti-poaching watchers. A case has been registered by the Gudiyatham taluk police.

Officials said unlike other ranges within the Vellore Forest Division, the Gudiyatham range has an elephant corridor due to its proximity to the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary.

As a result, herds of elephants travel through dense RFs, like Pichannur, Veera Chatti Patti, Parathami extension and Kalapadi, before moving to Mordhana dam. Last year (2021) alone, 46 elephants migrated along the corridor in search of food and water due to a rise in their population over the years.

The jumbos damage crops and property in the villages on their path. A total of 76 compensation claims for crop damage have been settled by the Forest Department in the Gudiyatham range alone for 2021-22.

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