Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

The elephants have returned to Khandrothang, Samtse gewog, causing destruction to crops like they did last year.

An elephant that had been causing destruction to the farms since the winter of 2021 has returned. The same elephant had destroyed areca nut trees and corn this year.

On the night of August 6, an elephant caused damage to areca nut trees and paddy fields in the gewog.

A resident, Karma Wangzin said they have informed the gewog, but nothing had been done after taking a few pictures of the damage caused. Another resident, Mangal Singh said he thought of not cultivating paddy this year.

“I don’t know what to do, as the elephant keeps on coming.”

Mangal Singh said the elephant comes during the day.

“We cannot scare them away because it attacks people,”  he said. The farmer said it is the same elephant that damaged paddy fields, and uprooted areca nut trees in Khandrothang last winter.

Forest officials had managed to collar the elephant with (GPS) tracking device recently. However, it has not helped prevent the elephant from causing damage.

One resident, Kiran Dhakal said the GPS collar had shown the elephant was across the border on Saturday, while it was destroying paddy in Khandrothang.

“On Saturday, the elephant entered my paddy fields and trampled all my paddy. It grazed on one that had the most paddy,” he said.

Meanwhile, an official said that they have started constructing a wall to block the animal’s entry point at Dhakaltar. However, it is also the place where Dungkarling villagers take the cattle for grazing. Villagers have requested not to block the entire Dhakaltar.