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A Herd Of 22 Wild Elephants Keeping Gadchiroli Forest Officials On Their Toes

A herd of 22 wild animals is freely roaming in the forest of Gadchiroli since the past two and half months Forest officials are sensitising the villagers and have asked to take precautionary steps Forest Official Deepesh Malhotra said that the officials have to be watchful as they cannot predict for how long these wild animals will stay
Indian Masterminds Stories

A herd of 22 wild elephants has been roaming freely in the forests of Gadchiroli district for the last two and a half months, posing some new challenges for the forest department. Some of the elephants even entered the tiger-dominated area of Bramhapuri division in Chadrapuri district. As a result, the forest department is on high alert to ensure security and safety of both the pachyderms as well as the people residing in the area.

Indian Masterminds spoke to the Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Brahmpuri, Mr. Deepesh Malhotra, about the steps being taken by the forest department to avert man-elephant conflict.

FREE ROAMING

The herd of 22 elephants, including four calves, started their journey from Orissa to Chhattisgarh, and from there, they entered Gadchiroli and are staying here for the past two and a half months.

There are two areas where the elephants arrived, Wadsa and Bramhapuri. The elephants stayed hardly for 4-5 days in the Bramhapuri forest but created havoc. “They created heavy destruction in the agricultural fields,” ACF Malhotra said.

They stayed for a while in the Dhanora Tehsil Forest in North Gadchiroli after their arrival, and later on, moved towards the Wadsa division in west Gadchiroli.

The Bramhapuri forest division falls between Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of the state and along the Vainganga river.

PRECAUTIONARY STEPS

Mr. Malhotra told Indian Masterminds, “The elephants are damaging the houses and other places in the area but we are sensitizing the local people about the measures they must take in their homes.”

He said that they have asked the villagers not to keep food stuff like mahua flowers at their homes because, along with paddy cultivation, the smell of these flowers attract wild elephants, which led to damages of many houses in the area. “We have advised them to keep this stuff aside for a certain period of time.”

He added that the wild elephants are now camping in Bramhapuri due to the abundance of food and are not causing any harm to the local villagers, as of now.

On being asked if the settlements that were damaged fall within the forest area, the officer replied that those settlements are outside the forest area. “We cannot force the elephants or keep them confined to specific places, as this can lead to violence,” he informed.

In conclusion, the officer said that the forest officials have to be very watchful at all times, as it cannot be predicted right now when these elephants will depart from the area.


Indian Masterminds Stories

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