Coimbatore: A one-year-old elephant calf that was left alone by its family for several hours got reunited after a great struggle by Forest department near Mettupalayam on Saturday.
According to Forest department sources, elephant menace continues in Coimbatore forest division following poor maintenance of trenches and a part of fund being allotted by the government for preventive measure is allegedly being siphoned off by some officials.
Meanwhile, on Friday night the calf along with its family had entered human habitat near the foothills of Mettupalayam, where the herd had ravaged the crops of a 50-year-old farmer Chin Raj near Nellithurai.
The herd while returning had crossed a close trench and moved into the forest leaving its calf without noticing that it was unable cross the trench and hence remained inside the farmland.
On information, a team led by Mettupalayam forest ranger Selvaraj comprising Sundapatti beat forester, Dinagaran, guard Nagarajan and AP watchers rushed to the spot and after a couple of hours struggle the team reunited the calf with its mother.
Tamil Nadu farmer’s association Coimbatore chapter president S. Palanisamy told the DC, “sufficient water tanks are not constructed and periodically filled with water inside the forest; moreover, following climate change there is no fodder inside the forest, the trenches are not properly maintained which makes the elephants enter the farmland easily.
A panel has to be formed by the PCCF comprising members from farmers’ associations, NGOs, conservation journalists, biologists and activists to monitor the utilisation of funds that is being allotted by the government for preventive measures, suggested Mr. Palanisamy.