A field day for elephants (India)
Wednesday 24 May 2006
Fourteen wild elephants in a cashewfield near Kissan Sahi in Manaharpur panchayat, Harichandanpur block, 45 km from here, entertained people in villages nearby for eight hours.
Yesterday, when the day dawned, the herd, which also consisted of two calves, found itself on a cashew field wandering around to find the way back to the forest. On hearing the news that elephnats were in the field, people from surrounding villages thronged the area.
The forest range officer of Ghatagaon, Mr RN Dash, Mr P Hembram and Mr Rabindra Mahanta, foresters of Deobandh and Dhenkikote divisions respectively, and a police team led by Ghatagaon circle inspector Mr Saroj Ratha simply watched the blunder the elephants had made by straying into the cashewfield.
As the elephants did not leave the area even after 2 pm, the villagers, realising the imminent danger, decided to drive the herd away, but the forest officers and police were conspicuous by their absence until much later.
Hundreds of people gathered at one end of the field marched towards the herd, shouting and making noises. The elephants started running. What the villagers saw could qualify for coverage on the National Geographic Channel.
The elephants, keeping the calves to the middle of the herd, ran through the villages without damaging any house. Finally, the people managed to drive them to the Khajuribeda forest nearby. People of Dudhianali, Kalimati and Kaluaposhi are afraid of the herd roaming around the villages as they fear that they may damage their property and pose a threat to their lives.
Statesman News Service May 9, 2006
See online : http://www.thestatesman.net/page.ne...