GUWAHATI: A wild elephant, which went on the rampage three days ago trampling to death five people in Goalpara district of Assam, has been kept under constant observation by forest officials.
There was no news of the jumbo after that incident until a drone traced it at a forested area along Assam-Meghalaya border on Friday.
The human-elephant conflict is common in Goalpara district. Usually, elephants, which have taken the lives of people in multiple incidents, are named “Laden” by the locals in Assam. However, a committee formed by the government, said the suspect, in this case, was not one of them but an adult “Makhana” elephant.
“An accurate and reliable map of occurrences of human deaths needs to be prepared for reliable identification and monitoring the movement and behaviour of the suspect elephant. More number of elephant anti-depredation groups needs to be created in the affected villages,” the committee said.
Kaushik Barua, an elephant expert, said the movement of the jumbo was being monitored constantly.
“It will be constantly tracked and monitored. As it appears to be a new individual, we have to give it the benefit of doubt. It has an injury mark on its hind part,” Barua said.
He said they received direction to capture the elephant but that would be a difficult task as it is not a small animal.
Asked if the elephant will be tranquilized, he said, “The Committee will meet on Monday and decide on the future course of actions”.
The jumbo had ostensibly come down from the hills of Meghalaya’s Garo Hills. Officials there say the squeezing of habitats was forcing the jumbos to stray out of the hills.
“Most people living on the hills are into areca nut plantation. As the elephant habitats are under a threat, they are going to Assam in search of good vegetations,” a forest official of Garo Hills said.