TIRUPATI: Forest officials at Tirumala stopped the entry of pilgrims at Srivari Padalu enclosure for five hours on Monday after some devotees reported the movement of wild elephants in its vicinity.
Immediately, the forest officials surveyed the area for elephants, but they did not find any foot marks or dung droppings of jumbos.
After the second survey, the forest officials confirmed that there were no presence of wild elephants in the surroundings of Srivari Padalu on the Narayanadri Hill. Pilgrims visit Srivari Padalu as these are believed to be the foot prints of the god.
A herd of elephants was seen a week ago at Srivari Padalu. Forest officials too had noticed foot marks and dung droppings at the location. But on Monday, the official could not find anything that can confirm the movement of the elephants. The elephants usually enter Srivari Padalu area as they keep moving around Chamla Valley, Mamandur, etc.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr D. Phani Kumar Naidu, divisional forest officer, TTD forest, said, “We have not identified any foot marks or dung droppings of the elephants. But as we got information from the pilgrims, we have restricted the devotees as part of a preventive measure. We kept drums and fire crackers ready to scare away the elephants herd.”...