Wild elephants have stopped raiding Monombolly, Thaimudi estate and Thonimudi estate in Valparai after forest department officials installed automated flashlights a week ago.
According to a senior forest department official, elephant herds used to raid ration shops in the villages on the forest fringes for rice. “A herd damaged a ration shop at High Forest Area last month. When rice bags were shifted to a temple, the herd broke open the main door of the temple and ate the rice,” deputy field director of Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) M G Ganesan said.
This prompted the officials to install two predator-deterrent Foxlights in Monombolly. “We installed the lights 30 feet away from ration shops a week ago. They emit red, blue and white light, giving the impression of someone patrolling.
Elephants have now stopped visiting the villages. Encouraged by the result, we installed the lights at Thaimudi estate and Thonimudi estate,” said Ganesan. “Based on the trial results, we will implement the method to check man-animal conflict in Monombolly and Valparai forest ranges.”
But the lights are not enough to scare away leopards, the official added. The officials should find out the reason why are the elephants are heading into villages. The forest department should ensure the food and water needs of wild animals. They can place water tanks in the selected area in the village for the sake of wild animals.
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