Forest officials on vigil against rampaging jumbos

Animals damage crops, properties in many parts of Aralam

A team of 50 forest officials is continuing to patrol inside the Aralam farm to drive away elephants, which have damaged crops and properties in Muzhakkunnu village and many other parts of the Aralam panchayat. The forest department officials had a tough time when two elephants crossed over the Aralam farm through the Cheenkanipuzha river to enter areas in Muzhakkunnu panchayat. Roads were closed and the forest officials drove the elephants back into the farm.

Kannur Divisional Forest Officer P. Karthick said that forest officials were on duty for patrolling and to ensure that the elephants did not venture out of the forest.

Mr. Karthik said the department had submitted certain recommendations to the District Collector and the government in order to mitigate the problem.

He said that deputing forest officials to drive away elephants into the jungle could not be a solution in the long run, adding that growing crops such as cashew, pineapple, coconut, and jackfruit inside the Aralam farm and adjoining areas lured the elephants out of the forest.

However, the tribespeople here said that several measures in the past taken up by spending huge funds to resolve the problem were in vain. Krishnan, a tribesperson in block 9, said that a young boy was killed during a similar drive conducted by the forest staff recently. In many places, the elephant walls had not been built properly and the animals easily broke them to cross over from the jungle. The residents inside the farm were under constant threat, he said.

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