Wild elephants wreaking havoc in Koraput villages

Koraput: Wild elephants have been wreaking havoc on human habitations and crops in three Koraput villages since Saturday night, Forest officials said today.

Two jumbos, detached from a herd of eight, have damaged some houses and a large number of banana trees in Semiliguda block, villagers and forest officials said.

The two pachyderms have strayed into Semiliguda from bordering Kashipur in Rayagada district, said forest range officer (Semiliguda) Gouri Prasad Rath.

“We are tracking the animals and trying to drive them away,” he said.

The marauding jumbos have razed eight houses at Kalahandi Colony and destroyed banana cultivation at Bandhaguda and Duruguda villages, sources said.

“With the jumbos staying put on hilltops during daytime and entering villages after sundown, we are virtually spending sleepless nights,” said Ghanshyam Pangi of Kalahandi Colony.

“We have informed the forest officials, but except bursting a few crackers, the forest department has not done anything to drive away the pachyderms,” alleged another villager Damburu Gupta.

Compensation would be paid to the villagers, whose houses and agricultural land have been damaged, added range officer Rath.