KALAIGAON, Dec 2 – Several herds of wild elephants consisting of about 30 to 50 pachyderms per herd have been roaming in and around Paneri TE in Udalguri district since November 24.
This has caused panic among the locals of neighbouring villages. The elephants with a number of calves have taken shelter in Paneri tea garden, particularly section 11 and 4. Civil and forest personnel have been trying to chase them away to Bhutan hills, but have not been successful as yet.
DN Hazarika, Circle Officer of Harisinga Revenue Circle, Tangla; Haladhar Kalita, Range Officer, Nonai Range Office under Khalingduar Reserve Forest in association with the manager of Paneri TE attempted to chase away the wild elephants on November 27, but the attempt proved futile. Only a few wild elephants moved away to the northern side of the tea garden towards Indo-Bhutan border that day. According to information available, the herd of wild elephants have not moved away because of the new born calves,who cannot travel over large distances.
When this correspondent visited the site on November 28, a herd of wild elephants numbering 40 to 50 with new borns were seen. In spite of attempts to scare away the elephants with gun fire and crackers, they did not move nor did they show any signs of aggression, but slowly retreated away from the people.
A few forest guards, namely – Tarini Kalita,Chakra Sil and Monindra Sarma were seen busy with their duties on the spot. They told this correspondent that the herd would retreat to the Bhutan hills after a few days as it was difficult for them to take along the new born calves along with them.
Ranjan Barua, senior assistant manager of Paneri TE; members of Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society headed by its CEO Ananta Bagh and members of Tangla Press Club etc also joined the operation to chase away the elephants unharmed.