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Forest department in Mayurbhanj initiates efforts to reduce human-elephant conflict

Official sources said, over the last 12 years, the frequency of elephant herds straying into human settlements in search of food has risen.

Published: 02nd January 2022 09:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2022 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

The recently-installed early warning light system in Rashgobindpur range.

The recently-installed early warning light system in Rashgobindpur range. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BARIPADA: The Forest department in Mayurbhanj is initiating a slew of measures as part of its efforts to mitigate human-elephant conflict amid rising cases of jumbo attacks and related deaths in the district. 

According to reports, an early warning light system was installed in Rashgobindpur range four days back, to alert villagers when elephants are in proximity. Besides, regular coordination meetings with authorities of Energy, Railway and  National  Highway Authority of India are being carried out at DFO-level every month. 

Vaccination of cattle are also being undertaken on a regular basis in forest periphery villages to prevent spread of anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to elephants. 

Official sources said, over the last 12 years, the frequency of elephant herds straying into human settlements in search of food has risen.

Apart from human deaths, damage to property and crops by the wild animals have also been a serious concern for locals as well as forest officials.

Besides, the department has been also dealing with the challenge of monitoring cross-border movement of elephants mostly from neighbouring West Bengal and Jharkhand into Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts.

As per the department’s records, 11 deaths due to elephant attacks were reported in the district in 2021 including eight cases from Baripada division and three from Rairangpur.  

In the most recent case, a 60-year-old man, Manda Bhakta, from Tiansi village within Moroda police limits in Rashgobindpur was trampled to death by an elephant while he was returning through a forest route on December 22. 

Earlier, a woman, Sumitra Dehuri (52) from Bhairangisole within Betnoti police limits and  daily wager, Madhusudan Ho, in Kaptipada had met a similar fate on December 17 and 16 respectively.

Contacted, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) and Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve M Yogajayanand said the department is taking necessary measures to minimise human-elephant conflicts in the region.



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