Fear of PT 7 grips residents; paddy farmer opts for early harvest in Palakkad

Crackers thrown to scare off elephants, forest officials conducting search operations for PT 7 | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Palakkad: As wild jumbo PT-7 (Palakkad Tusker 7) continues to spread fear in the residential and cultivated areas of Dhoni in Palakkad, paddy farmers are being forced to reap their crops way ahead of the harvest season.

PT Mathew, a paddy farmer in the area, reportedly harvested his crops on Saturday due to fear of wild elephant attacks. His 8 acre paddy field has been facing regular jumbo attacks since last December. He has suffered an agricultural loss of Rs 50,000 so far.

“10 more days are required for my crops to fully mature. But, I am afraid to wait till then as my loss would be more,” said Mathew.

The farmer added that he has filed an application for compensation with the forest department. Meanwhile, panic has gripped the residents of Dhoni, who now carry crackers, worth Rs 10, with them to scare off the elephants.

According to the forest officials, PT 7, which was spotted alongside a tusker and a female jumbo the other day, is currently roaming alone.

The forest department has intensified surveillance on the forest border to prevent wild elephants from entering the residential areas.

The rapid response team along with kumki elephants have been keeping vigil on certain routes to counter the wild elephants.

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