Losing shelter, livelihood and often life when an elephant walks into your home in the middle of the night!
How dangerous it is to be at the mercy of elephant when they walk quietly into your home crossing over many kilometers from their natural habitat? Here is a glimpse of this family losing their home, food in the kitchen and trampling around their little cultivated land. Walking in the middle of the night, crossing over from the other side of the hill, elephants came marching trampling everything under their feet, breaking apart fences, feeding on whatever was available around fresh, tender and tasty...Giant foot prints they may be, but give no warning and create no sound, catching the family off guard. Came, every step leading to the smell of rice / other vegetables/fruits etc. in the mud plastered loosely constructed home of the humble farmer, living over 10 kilometers away from the buffer area of the park. Young family of 4 children living in the adjacent room had little chances to escape! In the middle of the night, in pitch darkness, with no electricity but kerosene lamp, they didn't have a chance to outpace the mighty strides of an adult elephant. Presence of mind and a bit of good luck, family survives to the destruction of the elephants mother braving the situation and carrying her young child to the top of the temporary tree house.
Elephants didn't have mercy! They did what they wanted to, leaving the family in tatters and enormous destruction. Losing almost everything that was in their home, the small farmer is trying to rebuild himself, mother caring for 4 children while earning additional money through many other chores.
How would one react to such situations? Let's put ourselves in those situations with young family and how would it be to face up to the wrath of mighty elephants?
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College