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Tusker ‘brothers’ go on rampage in Pilibhit village

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Pilibhit, July 20 (IANS) The two tuskers ‘brothers’ who were released in Chuka compartment of Mahof forest range in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) on Thursday, went on rampage in the area.

The tuskers partially damaged a house and consumed fruit-laden banana trees on Friday. The terror-stricken villagers ran away from their houses after spotting the elephants.

It was only after forest officials and the police arrived at the spot that the villagers returned to their homes, demanding that the elephant be pushed back.

This is the first time that PTR is witnessing the presence of elephants. There is no record of any elephant in these forest ranges.

The two tusker brothers who have remained inseparable since they were seen on June 24 in the district, have wandered from place to place, with forest officials on their heels in a bid to push them back into the forests.

These tuskers, responsible for killing five people, were finally tranquilized, shifted and released in PTR on Thursday night.

It is hoped that the elephants will retrace their steps back to where they came from, possibly Nepal, along the Sharda river via Uttarakhand forests.

The elephants are expected to move away from Chuka as it does not have an abundance of ‘narkul’ grass, a favourite of elephants, or adequate supply of water.

"The stray tuskers are on way back to their natural habitat in Nepal via the village belt of Pilibhit. The second tusker had moved towards Uttarakhand but they are expected to reunite in the catchment area of Sharda River to finally retreat to their home in Nepal," said a forest official.

Meanwhile, the Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) of Rohilkhand zone, Lalit Verma, inspected the village and deployed pickets of forest force to keep the tusker away from human habitation.

 

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