This was photographed in the Chikkadevama Hill, near Saragur, H D Kote taluk, Mysore. Adjoining this hill, there is a village called Lanke, where conflicts with elephants are frequent. During the crop season, many elephants cross the scrub jungle late in the evening and return back to forest in the early morning hours. This photograph clearly shows a villager trying to drive a group of elephants back to the jungle.
When one talks to the forest department people here, one gets to know that they have been working in the area for many years, tasked with driving such elephants back into the forest. They have not been made permanent employees by the government, in a job where they risk their life every day. This scrub jungle is not part of any national park or wildlife sanctuary, but it is home to many animals like elephants, leopards, sloth bears, wild boars, and birds like peacocks, Bonelli’s eagles, painted spurfowl. This area needs immediate attention if it is to be protected in the long term.