Elephants caught in slush rescued
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Elephants caught in slush rescued

April 11, 2019

Virajpet: A herd of five elephants including a calf, which were caught in the slush at a lake in the estate of one Karineravanda Aiyappa at Palangala village near Virajpet, have been rescued by the Forest Department personnel.

The herd, which had come to quench its thirst, had got stuck in the slush and was unable to come out of the lake. Range Forest Officer (RFO) Gopal and Forest Guards, who rushed the spot on receiving information, managed to rescue the herd with the help of earth-movers.

Meanwhile, villagers said that the Forest Department, since many years, has been saying that elephants straying into villages would be captured but nothing has been done so far. The elephants have been destroying the crops and no compensation for crop loss has been provided, they added and demanded the operation to rescue the elephants be stalled till the higher authorities come to the spot.

Residents of the village, Karineravanda Ramesh and others, speaking with the Forest Officials, said that the villagers have suffered a lot due to the menace of wild elephants and added that protection be given to the villagers.

Stating that three persons were killed by wild elephants and many injured, they questioned the Forest Officials on the action taken in this regard. When an elephant is killed, the Forest Department registers a case and harass the villagers; they said and demanded compensation for the losses they have suffered.

Meanwhile, ACF Roshni, who arrived at the spot, assured the villagers of taking necessary action besides stating that a meeting with higher authorities would be called soon in this regard.

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The Forest Officials assure to capture wild elephants every time but do nothing, they (Forest Officials) care only about the elephants but not the lives of people, the villagers alleged.

Meanwhile, Taluk Panchayat Member Maletera Prashanth Uthappa, who spoke, said that the guns of localites which were confiscated to be sent for a laboratory in an elephant killing case earlier, are lying in Virajpet Police Station and not returned to the owners. Now, cases have been registered against the local residents in a elephant calf killing case resulting in people suffering unnecessarily, he added.

DFO Christharaju, who spoke, told the villagers that wild elephants would be captured for which time is needed to implement the capturing process and added that permission has been given to capture six elephants and the process would be commenced soon.

He further said that a meeting with villagers would be called soon to discuss about the compensation for crop loss. Later, a path was made with the help of earth-moving machines for the elephants to come out of the lake.

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