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1160 wild elephants die due to train hit and electrocution etc across the country in ten years: RTI

The numbers have seen light after Tenkasi-based RTI activist R Pandiraja had filed an RTI query over the deaths of wild elephants before the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Published: 02nd December 2021 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2021 09:36 AM   |  A+A-

A herd of elephants trying to cross a railway track

A herd of elephants trying to cross a railway track. (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: In a shocking revelation as many as 1160 wild elephants have been killed due to various reasons such as being hit by trains,  electrocution and poaching, etc across the country in the last ten years till December 2020.

This came to light after Tenkasi based RTI activist R Pandiraja had filed an RTI query over the deaths of wild elephants before the Ministry of Environment and Forests' 'Project elephant' division in May this year and received a reply from K Muthamizh Selvan, Scientist 'D' (Project Elephant) recently.

"A total of 186 wild elephants have been killed after being hit by trains across the country till 31 December 2020 under which Assam state recorded the highest number (62 elephants) while Tamil Nadu recorded five. Likewise, as many as 741 wild elephants have been electrocuted across the country. While Odisha recorded the highest number of 133 elephants and 93 electrocuted in Tamil Nadu," says an RTI reply

"Likewise, Out of 169 wild elephants have been poached, nine are from Tamil Nadu. Odisha remains the top and 49 wild elephants have been poached," the RTI replied.

"It is shocking to know that deaths of wild elephants for various reasons like poaching and accidents have been increasing in the recent years and that is why I have approached the ministry to know about it. If an elephant dies, it's equal to the destruction of the forest and leads to the destruction of wild animals. Both central and state government should take proactive steps to stop such incidents in future," said Pandiraja

The RTI also revealed that based on the census taken in 2017, a total of 29,964 wild elephants have been found in the country and Karnataka was at the top of that list with 6049 elephants. Tamil Nadu was home to 2761 elephants.

The RTI has also revealed that the MOEF has spent Rs 212.5 crore as part of elephant conservation in a decade.



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