A 32-member herd of wild elephants wrecked havoc at half a dozen villages in Kuppam mandal of the district from Thursday midnight till early hours of Friday, before retreating into the forest near Peddaparthikunta village close to Tamilnadu border.
The pachyderms struck the agriculture fields at Jarugu, Porakuntlapalle, Yamanathanapalle and other villages, and destroyed sugarcane, paddy and watermelon crops, resulting in a loss of over Rs. 5 lakh to farmers.
Residents of Jarugu said that though they saw the herd feasting on the crops in their fields, they were helpless at the midnight hour and what they found on Friday morning was the devastation of crops.
‘T.N. foresters not doing their bit’
The forest guards and elephant trackers who visited the villages had not thing to do but to console the farmers that the man-animal conflict would be tackled at the higher level, and they also blamed the Tamil Nadu forest officials for all ruckus in Kuppam and Gudupalle mandals, and preventing the animals’ regular migration track.
Fearing that the elephants might enter human habitations at any time, some Sarpanches have stored loads of crackers at their villages, while drum-beaters are kept ready for any emergency.