TANGLA: The fury of wild jumbos continues in the Indo-Bhutan border villages neighbouring Udalguri. A herd of 200 wild elephants that descended down from the hills and entered villages like Orangajuli, Nonoipara, Segunbari and Bholatar, has created terror among the people, damaging several houses and injuring villagers. The villages, which fall under Nonai forest division in Udalguri district, have recorded score of causalities of human life in the past decade. "We have informed the forest department about the elephant depredation. The department is aiding the villagers to chase away the herd. The elephant jumbos are spotted in the area every night. This year alone two deaths were reported and one Towke Dorji (38) received injury in both his limbs in an attack by an elephant on the night of May 4," said a villager.
Nabajyoti Baruah, a conservationist of Udalguri, told this correspondent, "Forest personnel are keeping vigil and villagers are also volunteering to help them. Already a large herd of 200 elephants has descended from the hills and it will take the worst turn in the coming monsoon days." When asked if electric fencing has proven effective, Baruah said, "Electric fencing had been done in some areas of Khalingduar Reserve Forest and Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary but lack of timely repair has made the fencing almost non-functional." A forest official said, "We have less manpower but we are patrolling the areas. The villagers are also helping us to drive the elephants away. This year there is a big herd which divided into 20-30 elephants and moved in different directions. We are having a tough time driving them away." He further added that in the division in 2019, 25 human causalities were reported against 14 injury and death of eight elephants where a total of 320 houses were ransacked and 295 hectares of cropland damaged in Udalguri.