Wild elephant menace grips Palakkad villages; 'PT-14' leads rampage with herd

PT-14, along with a herd of over 20 elephants, including calves, has frequently stationed itself in the Kanjikode area of late. Photo: Manorama

Palakkad: The villages on the fringes of forests in Palakkad district are now facing trouble from a wild elephant code named PT-14 (Palakkad Tusker 14), months after the authorities had captured another called PT-7.

PT-14 is terrorising the remote villages and giving sleepless nights to the residents.

The images of PT-14 straying into human habitats have come out. The tusker has allegedly snuffed out three lives so far. It is often seen along with a herd of over 20 elephants, including calves near Kanjikode area.

PT-14 is ebeleieved to be extremely dangerous. While in 'musth', the elephant would follow the human smell to carry out deadly attacks.

The villagers are living in much fear of the elephant coming out of the forest and straying into human settlements. Even the forest officials are afraid of the tusker often reluctant to join the herd.

The pachyderm will roam around in areas in Tamil Nadu for six months in search of corn sticks and will cross the border in search of soft grass once the summer ends. The animal is not daunted by electric fences or crackers. Unlike other crop-raiding elephants, PT-14 poses a danger to the lives of the villagers.

The elephant herd often comes out of the forest and strays into the Valladi region of Kanjikode in search of water. They would station there for hours before retreating into the woods. PT-14 would uproot trees along the forest's edge; it’s very difficult to chase the elephant back into the forest.

PT-7, which was earlier captured by the forest department, used to accompany PT-14.

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