DEHRADUN: Fifty people have been killed till October 30 this year in human-wildlife conflict and 214 injured in attacks by wild animals in Uttarakhand.
According to data from the Uttarakhand forest department, 24 people have been killed in leopard attacks and 13 by snakebites.
Chief wildlife warden of Uttarakhand JS Suhag said, "Measures are being out in place to check human-wildlife conflict. We are committed to conserve the wildlife and prevent loss of human lives too".
Eight people have died due to attacks by elephants, two each by bear and wild pig attacks and one after being attacked by a crocodile. The data also points out that lockdown and Covid 19 pandemic has had little impact to minimize the conflict between human beings and the wild.
The data revealed that maximum number of attacks were by bears with 71 followed by 58 leopard attacks, 38 wild pig attacks, 35 snake bites and eight elephant attacks.
In 2019, 58 people lost their lives to human-wildlife conflict and 181 were injured, while in year 2018 total 60 were killed leaving 234 injured. In 2017 total 39 people died while 285 were injured and in 2016 total 69 humans lost their lives with 463 left injured in human-wildlife conflict.
Interestingly, in 2019 highest number of deaths (19) were caused by snake bites. Highest number of deaths were due to conflict with snake (19) followed leopard (18), elephant (12), bear (4), tiger (3), wild pig (1), and crocodile (1).
Last month, in an attempt to arrest human-wildlife conflict by checking movement of wild animals into residential areas near Ganga river in Haridwar district, Uttarakhand forest department has started using solar enabled repeller systems.
Total 10 repellers at selected spots which are prone to wildlife-human conflict and plan to set up plan to set up at least 8 more is afoot, said officials of the state forest department.
These solar repellers have a motion sensor system which creates a high pitch sound when activated, startling wild animals enough to send them back towards the forest.
During night time, the repeller instrument also throws a sharp light towards approaching wild animals, affecting their vision.
In July this year, in a first in Uttarakhand, to prevent human-animal conflict, 'Tentacle Solar Fencing' was installed in Gaindakhali village in Haldwani forest division in the vicinity of Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary reducing the human-wildlife conflict to almost none.