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Youth trampled to death by elephant at Hakki Pikki colony

Staff Reporter

Another injured as herd strays into village from Bannerghatta National Park


  • Herd entered fields near tribal colony
  • Elephants also destroyed crops
  • Elephant attacks have become common over the past few years

    BANGALORE: After a brief lull, elephants from Bannerghatta National Park strayed into an adjoining village and trampled a youth to death and injured another on Friday night.

    The police said a herd of elephants invaded fields at Hakki Pikki colony, off Kaggalipura village, and trampled Naganna, 18, to death. Pama, 30, who tried to chase away the elephants, was injured after an elephant snatched him up with its trunk and threw him to the ground. The elephants also destroyed crops in the fields.

    Since Friday evening, a herd of elephants strayed into Hakki Pikki colony twice. The tribal people of the colony chased away the animals in the evening. Around 10.30 p.m., when Naganna and Pama were guarding ragi crops, the elephants attacked them, the police said.

    Regular phenomenon

    The elephant invasions have become a regular phenomenon over the past few years.

    Wildlife experts and members of the Institute for Natural Resources Conservation, Education, Research and Training (INCERT) point out that decades ago wild elephants foraged regularly for food and water in and around Bannerghatta, which was part of an elephant corridor. Herds of elephants migrate from Bandipur towards Bannerghatta and from there to Hassan via the Savandurga forest.

    There are six villages within the park and 236 villages surrounding it with a population of nearly 50,000. Illegal grazing by nearly 10,000 head of cattle, goat and sheep is a permanent feature in the park. These animals compete with the elephants for fodder.

    Sugarcane, coconut, banana, papaya and pineapple plantations and ragi crops around Tataguni, Bannerghatta, Toorhalli, Kaggalipura and near the Agara dam tempt the elephants to leave the safety of the forests to forage for food near human habitations, they say.

    An INCERT member says the trenches dug by the Forest Department to prevent elephants from crossing the boundaries of the national park have proved ineffective. The villagers fill up the trenches to take their cattle for grazing.

    According to Forest Department officials, the elephant has already become extinct in Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. If effective steps are not taken to curb quarrying and encroachment, regenerate forests and quickly complete the elephant corridor, the elephants in Bannerghatta and their migratory cousins may face extinction.

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