Watermelon, Sugarcane Lured Maha Elephants

Adilabad: The elephant that strayed into the bordering villages of Telangana state from Maharashtra was attracted by watermelon and sugarcane crops cultivated in the villages along the banks of the river Pranahitha. It was the first time that the elephant had crossed the river.

Foresters said that watermelon and sugarcane are known to be favourite foods for elephants, and they can smell them from long distances.

Watermelon is cultivated in Kondapalli village in Penchikalpet, and sugarcane on the outskirts of Bejjur town. The elephant entered the sugarcane field at Salugupalli but the crop was too young.

It encountered farmer Karu Pochaiah while he was watering cotton crop adjacent to the watermelon field on the second day of its entry, April 4.

The forest department is now training staff on elephant behaviour and how to deal with them with the help of experts from the NGO called SAGE from West Bengal.

Neeraj Tibrewal, Komaram Bheem Asifabad district forest officer (DFO), said that the elephant had reached the Pranahitha a few times in the past but had gone to Chhattisgarh via Gadchiroli. It crossed into Telangana state for the first time on April 3.

Tibrewal appealed to people of bordering villages to remain alert for a few more days, although the elephant had returned to the bordering villages of Maharashtra.

Kodapa Shankar of Nagapelli in Bejjur mandal said that farmers were cultivating sugarcane and watermelon in Kondapalli area of Penchikalpet mandal, along with other villages along the Pranahitha.

He said that sugarcane was being grown in Siddapur and Elkapalli villages, and 'Bejjur Jaggery' has been produced until recent years. He said that elephants are entering human habitations due to large-scale deforestation.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story