Wild elephants destroy crops at Vadakarai

Farmers say they will stage a demo at the Collectorate

Four wild elephants which strayed into paddy fields and coconut groves near Vadakarai in the district and damaged the crops gave tense moments to farmers on Wednesday.

With recurring incidences of wild animal invading fields and farms close to the foothills of the Western Ghats, the farmers are demanding the State government to dig trenches and erect solar-powered electric fences to block the free movement of animals, especially wild boars and elephants.

The four elephants which entered farms on Wednesday morning were roaming along the stretch between Vadakarai and Adavinainar dam. Standing paddy crop suffered extensive damage in Ochchanadai area. The elephants also damaged coconut and mango trees, the farmers said.

After alerting police and Forest Department officials, the farmers, with the support of public, burst crackers to chase the animals back into the forests. The operation succeeded after three hours.

Zakhir Hussein, a farmer from Vadakarai, said the elephants had uprooted 15 coconut trees, damaged more than 1,000 banana saplings and paddy raised on two acres of land in the past one month alone.

“Though we have alerted the Forest Department, no effort has been taken to solve the problem we are facing from wild elephants, deer and wild boars. Even after announcing that wild boars would be hunted down, the department shows scant respect to our complaints. So we have decided to mobilise the farmers and stage a demonstration at the Collectorate,” Mr. Zakhir Hussein said.

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