Berhampur, Jan 8 (LocalWire) Residents of at least four villages in Ganjam district’s Kukudakhandi panchayat are spending sleepless nights as at least 12 wild elephants reportedly strayed into the areas from the nearby forest and are destroying harvested paddy and other vegetables.
A dozen elephants, divided into three to four herds, are roaming in Banthaplli, Balipada, Dengapadara and Tamana for the last three to four days.
“The jumbos destroyed harvested paddy crops in and nearby villages of Balipada. People of the area are very scared and are feeling helpless,” said Niranjan Mohanty, a samaiti member of Balipada panchayat.
He said forest officers need to intervene and drive away the herds. He also demanded compensation for their financial losses.
“Farmers in the area have already suffered huge losses due to unseasonal rains in October under the influence of Cyclone Titli. Now, the wild elephants have destroyed the remaining crops,” he added.
The elephants of Lakhari Valley near Digapahandi might have intruded in the area in search of food.
The pachyderms refused to leave the place due to the availability of the foods in the area, a forest officer said.
Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashish Kumar Behera said there was no report of human casualty or house damage due to the elephant depredation in the area.
Forest staff, along with elephant squad, have been pressed to drive away the pachyderms from the area, he said on Tuesday.