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Mayhem by wild herd of pachyderms

A Correspondent
Tezpur, June 26: A herd of wild elephants has been creating mayhem during the last two months in several villages of Chariduar, Balipara and Rangapara, besides the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas, destroying several houses. The local residents are spending sleepless nights in the fear of dreadful consequences. According to sources, a wild herd of pachyderms sauntered across from the Sunai-Rupai forests into the populous neighbouring villages of Balipara and Chariduar in Sonitpur district.

Recently a giant wild elephant with a long tusk entered a village and damaged eight houses of villagers Kartik Tanti, Amit Tanti, Chamir Tanti, Punu Orang, Amit Changa, Jugnu Lohar, Raja Orang and Lakhinath Karmakar, and destroyed vast household properties and crops of the people.

Also, a herd of wild elephants which strayed out of Kaziranga National Park from the northern range entered the southern part of Gohpur subdivision and destroyed several houses at Kuruwa Pathar and crops in Biswanath district. Earlier, the herd destroyed crops in Jakapara Bakoridoloni and Paken areas of Gohpur subdivision which is about 8 km from Gohpur. The herd also destroyed crops in Chariduar near the Assam-Arunachal border in Sonitpur district.

A wild elephant destroyed the rice godown of a family in Chariduar. Later, villagers drove away the elephant towards Chariduar reserve forest. The jumbos also damaged the house of one Runumai Devi in Sengalimari under Nameri range and have been creating havoc since the last couple of days.

Officials sources said that the herd comprising 30-40 elephants was taking shelter in Gopal Jaroni near the sixth addition of Kaziranga National Park. They said that wildlife protection team had also been deputed to protect the area after dusk. Mayhem created by herds of wild elephants has forced many families to pass sleepless nights in different belts of Sonitpur district in the last few days. Over the last many years, the problems created by elephant herds due to fodder and habitat shortage, floods and some other man-made problems have remained unaddressed for the people living in the vicinity of Sonai Rupai Sanctuary, Nameri National Park and the sixth addition of Kaziranga National Park and in many villages and tea gardens in the northern part of the Sonitpur district encompassing a large area.