Bhanjanagar: For last several days, a herd of 74 elephants holed up in North Ghumusar and South Ghumusar forest ranges of Ganjam district has been frequenting nearby villages. The movement of the elephants has created fear and apprehension among the people living close to the vicinity of the forests.
Locals informed that the elephant herd coming out of the forests after sunset and damaging crops has become a routine affair in some pockets. This has left farmers fuming who are now contemplating taking matters in their own hands to drive away the elephants. On the other hand, Forest department officials are also worried about how to contain the elephant menace. They are trying to ensure the safety of the animals while trying their utmost to drive the herd away.
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In some areas, both locals and Forest officials are keeping a close vigil on the elephants all through the night to protect their crops. Many villagers complained that they are spending sleepless nights due to the elephant menace.
It is not just that the movement of the elephants is restricted to night only. An elephant entered Tinichhakia village Friday morning creating panic among the people. However, later the villagers with the help of Forest department officials managed to drive back the animal into the jungle. However, they asked as to how long they will have to live in panic due to the elephant herd. They said that any day human life will be lost due to attack by the elephants.