HASSAN: A herd of elephants caused quite a scare a Koudalli village, about half a kilometre from Sakleshpur town, after they caused damage to two houses on Monday morning.
The scared residents hid in their houses even as the elephants ambled around for about an hour, causing damage to a bathroom, kitchen and a motorcycle and destroyed coffee, banana and pepper crops in about half an acre. The residents lamented the loss of coffee crop which they had cultivated for 15 years.
Of late, elephants are being spotted on village roads and on main roads where there is traffic, raising concerns about the safety of school- and college-going students. Moreover, fearing elephant attacks, labourers are not turning up at coffee estates.
Villagers say several protests have not yielded any results. They have demanded that the elephants be relocated or a corridor be created for them. The elephant menace needs a long-term solution and if the government does not act, many villages will boycott the elections, the locals have warned.
In the last 2.5 decades, the elephant menace has increased in Malnad region, leading to man-animal conflict. In 2014, 23 elephants were relocated, but their numbers have increased again now. The problem, which was mostly in Sakleshpur and Alur taluks, has now spread to Belur and Arkalgud taluks too.