Jumbo herd moves in, families flee in Chhattisgarh

July 18th, 2011 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, July 18 (IANS) For about a week now, a herd of 16 wild elephants has made a forested hamlet of Chhattisgarh its home, running amok in the area and driving 22 fear-stricken families out of their homes, an official said Monday.

The tribal families belong to the Kunkuri forested area in Jashpur district, some 400 km from the state capital Raipur. And they are now at the receiving end of yet another incident of man-animal conflict in northern Chhattisgarh.

“The families which were residing in the jungles of Kunkuri abandoned their homes late Sunday after the jumbos brought down their mud houses,” C.S. Tiwari, a local forest department official, told IANS.

He said the families feared a threat to their life from the wild elephants which have parked themselves in the area for about a week. The official said the tribal families would return once the herd of 16 moved away.

Chhattisgarh’s northern region, comprising Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh districts, regularly witnesses cases of man-elephant conflict. Dozens of people have been killed by wild elephants in recent years.

The state government annually pays villagers in the northern region millions of rupees in compensation for the loss of human lives and the damage caused to homes and crops.

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