Assam: Growing man-elephant conflicts

As many as 62 elephants have died in the state since January this year. Altogether 63 people have been killed.

Published: 24th November 2019 09:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th November 2019 09:27 AM   |  A+A-

Elephants

For representational purposes

GUWAHATI: Assam’s forest department has an elephantine task at hand to curb rising wild man-animal conflicts.

As many as 62 elephants have died in the state since January this year. Altogether 63 people have been killed.

The conflict last year was worse, 80 elephants and as many people were killed. Wild elephants are “invading” places they have never come before. The situation has made the forest department sit up and take notice. 

“We create awareness from time to time to curb the conflict. We are also working in coordination with some NGOs to make sure that elephants do not get run over by moving trains,” Sailendra Pandey, public relations officer to the state’s Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.

The department’s priority is to save the animals’ lives. Property comes next, he added.

Elephant expert Kaushik Barua said shrinkage of elephant habitat was the main reason behind the conflicts.

“Although elephants and human beings are two different species, they have the common requirement of land. For whatever reasons, there is a growing shrinkage of land,” Barua said.

“We have to secure whatever is left of the elephant habitat...Now, you have to learn to live with them. That is give and take. We all have to contribute. There is no other way.” 

Toll mounts 

As many as 62 elephants have died in the state since January this year. Altogether 63 people have been killed. 

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