Four kumkis were deployed to patrol around ‘O’ Valley area in Gudalur to prevent a wild elephant, which is believed to have attacked two persons, including a woman to death, from intruding into human settlements.
Kumkis Srinivasan, Vijay, Shankar and Krishna brought from Theppakadu elephant camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) are guarding the neighbourhood day and night.
A large team of Anti-Poaching Watchers (APW’s) was also camping in the locality to keep track. Officials of the Forest Department were on their toes after D Anand Kumar and Mumtaz died in elephant attacks over the last few days. However, it is yet to be ascertained if the same elephant was involved in both the attacks. These incidents triggered a chain of protests by people demanding to capture the elephant. As a precaution, the villagers have been advised not to venture out of their house after 7 pm and in the early morning hours.
“Early warning systems were set up and villagers were informed through loud speakers of the movement of wild elephants. Also, WhatsApp groups have been formed to share information and alert villagers on the presence of elephants,” said U Srinivasan, ‘O’ Valley Forest Range Officer.
The Department has also come forward to transport school students from tribal areas in their vehicles during mornings and evenings to avoid any conflicts. Meanwhile, Gudalur MLA Pon Jayaseelan submitted a petition to Nilgiris Collector SP Amrith to capture and shift the jumbo from the area.