Human-animal conflict escalates in Idukki as residents battle tiger, wild elephant attacks

Wild elephant Padayappa arrives near the residential area in the Munnar's Mattuppatti Top Division. The jumbo has been creating trouble in the residential areas for a long time. Photo: Reju Arnold/Manorama

Thodupuzha: The Idukki district witnessed a number of cases of human-animal conflict on Wednesday. While a tiger attacked a cow in Munnar, wild tuskers Chakkakomban and Padayappa wreaked havoc in Chinnakanal and Devikulam respectively.

Sightings of wild elephant herds were reported in Devikulam and Munnar's Kundala Dam and Idamalakudi. Chakkakomban attacked a residence in Singukandath in Chinnakanal. The elephant tried to demolish Manoj Mathew's house with its tusks. While the wall was partially damaged, the ceiling was completely demolished. The elephant had attacked the same area last week.

The notorious Padayappa, which was previously wreaking havoc in Munnar, has now landed in the inhabited areas of Devikulam destroying crops adjacent to the layams here.

An elephant also ventured down to the 6th mile on the Adimali Neriyamangalam road, prompting cautionary advisories from the forest department.

In Devikulam, six elephants were seen in areas where workers reside, prompting an intervention from the forest department. Rapid response teams are actively attempting to deter the elephants near Kundala Dam.

An incident of a wild elephant attack was also reported in Idamalakudi. The elephant herd vandalised a grocery store, causing damage to vegetables and cereals.

Meanwhile, a tiger was sighted in Munnar's Talayar. The tiger killed a cow belonging to Muniyandi, an estate worker. Locals reported that this was the fifth cow taken by a tiger in the past two months.

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