Hassan: Having failed to ease the man-animal conflict in Sakleshpur, Hassan, with the capture and shifting of individual trouble-making elephants, the forest department now plans to translocate around 60 jumbos roaming the region to mitigate the problem.
Acting on the Karnataka high court's orders, 24 frequently straying elephants were caught and either shifted to other forests or accommodated in camps over the last couple of years.
But this has not put a stop to elephants wandering into villages in Sakleshpur as others have taken their place and new born calves have added to the growing jumbo population in the region.
Although forest officials are aware that some radio-collared elephants that were shifted from Sakleshpur to the Bandipur National Park in Chamarajanagar in the past, returned to their previous habitats, they are now ready to experiment with translocation of an entire population of jumbos in a desperate attempt to find a solution to the problem.
But the state government will have to give enough justification to the Centre for such a massive translocation of elephants, according to the officials, who explain that it will not be attempted at one go, but would take place in batches of 15 to 20 jumbos at a time.
Dozens of people have lost their lives and many have been injured in elephant attacks in Sakleshpur and Alur taluks of Hassan over the years.
This year three people have been trampled on by jumbos so far here, revealed forest officials.
While conservationists fear that there is a chance of things going wrong in such mass translocation of elephants as their families comprise of mothers and calves, coffee planters took out a march in Sakleshpur on Thursday demanding the shifting of the entire jumbo population from the region in the interest of their crops, which have been destroyed by the elephants.