Forest officials drive away elephant deep into MTR
COIMBATORE: Even as the villagers in Gudalur resorted to protests demanding the capture of a ‘makhna’ elephant, the Forest department, after persistent efforts, drove it away into the deep forest of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Wednesday night.
Villagers staged a demonstration in Gudalur demanding the capture of the elephant, which has been habituated to raid crops over the last few years. However, the officials of the Forest department sought to differ and described the ‘makhna’ as a non-problematic animal.
“The elephant has been frequenting Devarshola neighbourhood over the last four years. Till now, the makhna has not been involved in any conflicts with human beings. It looks soft natured and has never exhibited signs of aggression, even during our previous chasing operations,” said an official of the Forest department.
The Forest department blamed some individuals with vested interests to be instigating the villagers to protest. “The makhna has raided crops, only thrice at ‘Thaimattam,’ ‘Puliyamparai’ and ‘Chinnathai’ grove localities over the last three months. Of the three affected farmers, one has been compensated and the compensation process is due for two others,” he added.
Ruling out the necessity for capture of the makhna, the Forest department officials maintained that the animal is monitored round the clock by a team and is driven away into the forest, if it makes any outings.
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