Fear gripped people of Gangavaram and Palamaner mandals abutting the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary after a herd of wild elephants killed two head of cattle in a field at Bandameedha Jaravaripalle village under Palamaner forest range.
According to information, a herd of eight elephants entered the fields close to the village around Saturday midnight and devoured the standing crops of tomato and other vegetables, besides trampling a stretch of paddy.
Seeing the commotion, two cattle, tied outside a watch-hut, started bellowing. The herd moved towards the cattle and fatally trampled the duo. Though the villagers heard the agonized cries of the cattle and the wild trumpeting of the pachyderms, they remained indoors as they could not venture due to the big number of the herd.
At sunrise, the villagers found the carcasses of the two cattle. The area veterinary hospital staff reached the spot and conducted autopsy. The forest officials from Palamaner visited the spot and assured owner of the cattle that the matter would be taken to the notice of the higher officials.
In view of the COVID-19 lockdown and scorching heat outside, several farmers have abandoned night vigil, preferring to retreat to the villages after dusk.
During the last one week, two herds from the wildlife sanctuary have frequented the fields, damaging the crops, the farmers deplored. After this incident of wild elephants killing the cattle, the farmers have started taking them to their villages after grazing, instead of allowing them to be tied in the fields.