Chennai, Aug 12 (IANS): The Tamil Nadu forest department has adopted several measures, including installing hanging solar fences, in the seven forest ranges of Coimbatore district to prevent wild elephants from straying into residential areas.
According to data, the gentle giants have entered residential areas in Coimbatore forest range 1,636 times till this July, while as many as 2206 incursions were recorded in 2021, sources in the forest department said.
Forest department sources told IANS that if the current trend is not reversed, by this year-end, the incidents of them straying into residential areas would be more.
However, officials said that they are in the process of acquiring battery-operated electric sticks that will produce light and sound to scare elephants away.
It would also keep other wild animals like sloth bears, that attack forest officials occasionally, away.
Notably, the wild elephants have attacked and killed seven people in 2021 during their entry to residential areas and in 2022, four lives were lost.
The forest department is also planning to raise elephant fodder in 2000 hectares of degraded forests in Mettupalayam and Sirumugai forest ranges. The project, according to officials, will be implemented with the support of NABARD.
With the raising of elephant fodder in 2000 hectares of forest land and installation of hanging solar fences, the frequency of entry of wild elephants to residential areas would reduce in days to come.