Tuskers in search of 'jumbo treat' on highway

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Erode, Tamil Nadu, Sep 27 (UNI) A herd of 'gluttonous' elephants frequent the Sathyamangalam-Thimbam hilly road in this district everyday, in search of a 'jumbo treat'.

The busy stretch, connecting the state with Karnataka, is nestled between lush green forests and picturesque hills. The forest area is home to various species of wildlife, including bisons, bears, greyhounds, tigers and pachyderms.

The jumbos stray into the villages and farms dotting the thick forests in search of food and water during summer months. While the herd returns to the forest once its hunger is satiated, one or two 'truant' tuskers linger on in the human habitations.

Excited by the 'jumbo visitor', the villagers feed it with its favourite dishes like coconuts, plantains and sugarcane. Drivers of sugarcane-laden lorries regularly give a couple of bundles of their stock to the elephants. The 'gourmet' pachyderms, after getting a taste of the delicacies, have now started demanding its share of the 'sumptuous spread'.

The straying tuskers wait near the highway for the sugarcane lorries. They were assured of a treat if the lorries pass the stretch either due to the magnanimity of the drivers or the beasts helping themselves in 'self-service'.

But if the lorries disappoint it, the waiting elephants create a ruckus by chasing the vehicles plying on the highway.

The pachyderms also frequent the famous Bannari Amman temple as the lorry drivers stop there to seek divine blessings.

UNI

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