Athirappilly: Some miscreants are lighting camp fires on elephant paths in the forest here every night. The fires are seen on the banks of the river at Chiklayi area in Thumboormuzhi.
This has blocked the path of the elephant herds that venture into the river to quench their thirst. After sipping the water, the elephants are now unable to return to the forest and stray into areas of human habitation.
The fires remain throughout the night. The elephants return to the forest only after people leave dousing the fire.
All this has resulted in regular sightings of the elephant herds during morning time. Moreover, the elephants feed on the crop at the farmlands and at the oil palm plantations through which they come out of the forest to reach the river.
According to the local people, the fires are being noticed over the past one month. Travellers along these roads at night also face the threat of wild elephant herds.