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Residents in panic as elephants destroy crops in Muniguda



OST Bureau

Rayagada Sept 2

Panic stricken villagers of Bhairabhgada village in Muniguda block of Rayagada district are spending sleepless nights as a herd of 25 wild elephants have been ravaging their paddy crops for the last ten days.

Over 100 acres of paddy fields have been damaged by the herd of pachyderms, which has been camping at the nearby hills. The herd strays into the fields next to Bhairabhgada village after sunset causing panic among the villagers.

Aggrieved villagers have squarely blamed the forest department for making no efforts to chase away the elephants, which have approached the outskirts of Muniguda town.

Forest department officials, however, said that movement of the elephants was being monitored by engaging elephant watchers and trackers and night camps were being organized.

Department officials said appropriate compensation would be provided to jumbo-hit farmers after verification of crop loss.