Hassan: Despite the capture of 24 rogue elephants in Alur and Sakleshpur taluks Hassan is still not free of the man-elephant conflict, that has claimed lives of people and jumbos over the years .
As many as 26 people have been killed by straying elephants between 2001 to 2016 in the region, according to the forest department. Thirteen of these deaths were in Sakleshpur sub-division. While farmers have suffered huge losses due to elephants raiding their fields, elephants too have met with tragic deaths owing to the conflict. While one was shot dead in Arakalgudu, two were electrocuted at Bisile Ghat and in Alur taluk.
Seeing the rising man-elephant tussle the high court in 2012-13 ordered the capture of the straying jumbos and since then the 24 that have been caught have either been relocated or tamed in elephant camps. Initially their capture saw damage to crops in the fields near forests fall by almost half , but things were soon back to square one, according to forest officials. As many as 60 elephants are known to roam the forests and coffee plantations of Alur, Sakleshpur and Arkalgudu taluks in Hassan.
While most victims of the straying elephants have died accidentally, going by the forest department, there is growing anger against the raiding herds. Mr Naveen Kumar of the Karnataka Pranta Raitha Sangha, says its time the forest department took measures to ensure that elephants do not enter fields in Hettur, Hongadahalla and surrounding areas where they regularly damage crops. Villagers of Janakere, Vadoor, K Manchanahalli are, however, more tolerant and usually wait for the elephants to return to the forests without doing much to drive them away ....