By V. Senthil Kumaran
HOSUR: Panic spread through Hosur and suburbs as three elephants entered close to the border town at 9am on Saturday and trampled to a man, who was on his way to work. Krishnagiri district forest officials said the elephant herd, including three tuskers, strayed into Hosur suburbs from the reserve forests. Hosur town in Tamil Nadu, located close to the Karnataka border, is 40km from Bangalore.
The elephant herd had been roaming the Sanamaavu reserve forest area close to Uthanapalli village for the past three days and entered Hosur suburbs, forest officials said. They admitted that it would be a tough operation driving the elephants that had entered paddy fields back into the forests. More than 60 forest personnel from Krishnagiri and Hosur forest range have been deployed in the vicinity to prevent the pachyderms entering the town or villages.
Traffic on the Salem-Bangalore-Chennai highway came to a halt as panic stricken passengers jumped out of their vehicles. Irate residents, numbering 300 and more, staged protests on the highway, adding to the traffic chaos. Forest officials in Krishnagiri district are camping close to the Karnataka border to monitor the situation.
Efforts were on to drive back the elephant herd into the forests and to ensure that it does not enter human habitations, officials added. Such incidents of man-animal conflict have been on the rise in recent years with pachyderms from nearby reserve forest range straying into villages close to Hosur town in search of fodder and water.