He allegedly tried to drive them away from the field after being pushed to the ground.

In another incident where the Bachelors’ Group elephants attacked humans, a 75-year-old guard in a mango orchard was killed as he allegedly tried to chase two elephants from the field of Nettam village in Puttur mandal on Sunday.

This is the third incident and the first casualty in the Eastern Mandals in the past four months after a group of three single three-membered elephants passed through Chittoor District from Vellore in Tamil Nadu the first week of January. The trio have since carried out occasional crop raids in the lowland areas of the mandals of Nagari, Puttur, Narayanavanam and Karveti Nagaram and took refuge behind sparse hills and jungles.

Currently, one of the three elephants has split from the group and is currently on the prowl at the Kailasanatha Kona tourist spot at the foot of the Nagari Hills. The other two elephants are moving through the forests of Karveti Nagaram and Puttur.

GG Narentheran, Division Forestry Officer (Chittoor Wildlife East) The Hindu that the elderly man, identified as Tupakula Chinnabba from Kalyanapuram locality in Puttur municipality, was on a night watch when he heard the barking dogs. Following the noise, he reached the place to find two elephants.

When Chinnabba allegedly tried to scare them, without setting off the alarm to alert others in nearby orchards, he was pushed to the ground by one of the elephants, resulting in his death.

Action plan

A few weeks ago, forestry officials launched an operation with two kumkis (trained elephants) with the intention of pushing the trio into the forests. An action plan has also been drawn up with an expenditure of 10 lakh to tackle the problem. However, as the movement of wild elephants in the Palamaner and Kuppam ranges increased, kumkis were temporarily removed from the walk in the eastern Mandal Plain areas.

Forestry officials also undertake frequent movements to prevent elephants from entering human dwellings, fields and crossing the national highway to Chennai via Nagari and Nagalapuram.

Forestry officials urged farmers not to venture out alone at night and to avoid hiring older people in night-time chores.