A huge herd of wild jumbos plunder paddy fields in Jalpaiguri

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Jalpaiguri, Oct 20 (ANI): In yet another incident of elephant menace, a herd of nearly 50 wild elephants strayed from the forest into human settlement and plundered paddy fields near Damding Tea Estate in Dooars region of West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Monday.

According to the farmers, the elephants came from the Baikunthpur forest range, divided themselves into two groups and entered the Washabari and Damding tea gardens.

The herd that entered the Damding tea garden plundered paddy fields before entering the tea garden.

On spotting the elephants, the locals crowded around and looked for some means to save their cultivated lands by trying to shoo away and divert the herd.

However, after sensing that many people had surrounded them, the animals entered the tea gardens.

Wildlife wardens and forest rangers from the Baikunthapur Forest Division were summoned to divert the elephants but it was of no avail.

"Around 30 to 35 wild elephants have come here and wildlife officials have not yet arrived," said Jain Bahadur, a tea garden worker.

"Elephants have eaten our paddy crop. They are also creating menace and terrorising people in tea garden and the workers residing in the staff quarters," said Dipak Thapa, another tea garden worker.

After repeated efforts by the locals, the elephants from both the gardens got back to the forest, giving a sigh of relief to the locals, late in the evening.

India has over 50 per cent of Asiatic elephants, considered to be among the most intelligent animals. Unfortunately, the number of elephants has dwindled in recent years. (ANI)

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