A herd of wild elephants, which is creating havoc at rural areas of Jonai at easternmost part of Dhemaji district for last few days, has damaged several acres of pre-harvest crops resulting in heavy losses to the poor farmers.
The tuskers, which reportedly came from nearby Poba Reserve Forest (RF) in search of food, have destroyed pre-harvest paddy and fruit plants at Jonai, Bijoypur and Bahir-Jonai panchayats under Jonai revenue circle.
According to locals, more than 10 acres of standing crops were damaged by the wild elephants. Local villagers alleged that even after they reported about the destruction caused by the elephants, the Forest Department officials have not yet taken effective measure to drive away the herd from the area.
A isolated tusker being stranded in dense human habitations at Lolat-Rotej area near Jonai town on Sunday morning created terror and went away to Poba RF through Ratanpur and Rigbi villages.
As per forest officials here, a herd of elephants came from Sissi forest side has and moving in the isolated areas of Jonai sub-division in search of food. The officials have report of wild elephants’ movement in the area. They also visited reported crop damage site at different locations.
Foresters say that the elephant herd might come from Dibru Saikhuwa National Park across the Brahmaputra River through lower (Assam) portion of Poba RF as there is an elephant corridor linking the national park and reserve forests of Dhemaji forests Division.
“The man-elephant conflict is ever increasing due to gradual destruction of elephant habitat and food crisis in the natural forests,” said Jonai Range Forest Officer Fakrul Islam.
On the other hand, a male elephant entered at Berachapori paddy field near Poba RF was died under mysterious circumstance on October 25 morning. The foresters here suspected miscreant’s hand behind unnatural death of the wild elephant.
It was reported that a herd of jumbos three in number entered the paddy field on October 24 night and feed on the pre-harvest crops.
Movement of wild jumbos at human habitations and damage crop fields with household properties at Borong chapori under Jonai Rnage and Sissi area under Dhemaji range have also been reported by the local villages.