Activists flay farmers for hurling crackers at jumbo during chasing drive

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Activists flay farmers for hurling crackers at jumbo during chasing drive

Wildlife activists have raised concern over farmers hurling crackers at wild elephant nicknamed ‘Baahubali’ during a chasing operation by the Forest Department in Coimbatore.

The video of the incident has been going viral on the social media drawing flak for the Forest Department. “The crowd was uncontrollable and we were literally helpless while driving Baahubali back into the forest during night hours.

The farmers began to throw crackers from different directions in a bid to ensure that the animal does not enter their farm land,” said S Palaniraja, Forest Range Officer, Mettupalayam Range. Unfortunately, some of the noisy crackers thrown mindlessly had either fallen on the animal or so close to it. The shocking video grab of the incident, which happened recently, also shows a panicked Baahubali fleeing into the forest by trumpeting, unable to bear the pain of the crackers falling on it.

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The elephant also tries to charge on the crowd, but then turns away. The elephant, which had been habituated to raid crops in farmlands adjoining Sirumugai forest area, had never caused harm to human beings or damaged properties over the last one year of its arrival. Meanwhile, activists have urged the Forest Department to sensitise the villagers against using crackers on the wild elephant. “When the court itself has directed the Forest Department not to use firecrackers on elephants to chase them back into the forest, the farmers should be restrained from resorting to such dangerous activities.

Activists flay farmers for hurling crackers at jumbo during chasing drive

Most farmers stock up crackers to drive away straying elephants. They need to be cracked down and sensitised,” said NI Jalaluddin of Nature Conservation Society of Coimbatore.

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