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They are not here for Dasara!

They are not here for Dasara!
Bangalore: For the second time in two years, wild elephants are giving forest officers a trying time in Mysore city. 

Forest officers are mulling whether the presence of humans inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve forced the herd to stray into the city. They pointed out that during the last one week more than 1.5 lakh devotees visited the Be­ladakuppe Mahadeswhara temple situated Hediyala of H D Kote Taluk, perhaps disturbing the movement of the herd.

A forest official in Mysore said, “During the three-day festival, a minimum of 1.5 devotees visit the temple which is located in Hediyala range. Pre­parations for the festival began a few days ago when a large crowd entered the route to the temple inside the forest.

It might be possible that growing crowds have driven away this herd of eight elephants outside the forest and they strayed into the city. Due to fragmentation of forests, it is possible that elephants missed their route."

Two years ago, a security guard was killed and residents had to run for cover when two elephants ran amok on the streets of Mysore.

“Forests around Mysore have always been the home for elephants. If you look at the geography around Mysore city, there are rivers, lakes and wooded areas where elephants take shelter while moving. We are trying to send the herd back into Bandipur forest,” the official added.

Officials of the forest department are contemplating to shift some of the temples built inside Bandipur towards the periphery of the forest in order to reduce incidents of man-animal conflict.