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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Forest department takes initiative for man-elephant co-existence

Herd of wild elephants stray into villages surrounding reserve forests areas in West Kamrup division

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 14: The state forest department has taken special measures to ensure co-existence between wild elephants and humans.

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A herd of elephants including calves has been grazing in Dakuapara, Pakharapara, Chandmari, Sakhati, Mouman Tangabari and Jongakhuli villages, which are especially connected with the reserve forest areas under the Singra forest range office of West Kamrup division for the last few days.

When the herd of elephants entered the villages, villagers alleged that they were unable to go for work. They were unable even go to their paddy fields because of the herd of wild elephants.

A state forest team led by Ranger Bhargabh Hazarika launched a mobile awareness unit to calm the situation. The unit has started a campaign with a microphone among the villages.

Bhagabh Hazarika, the ranger of the Singra Range said, “We visited shops, daily bazaar areas, naamghars, temples, schools, churches etc. in the villages and sensitised the villagers about the consequences of human- elephant conflicts.”

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“We also urged the villagers to maintain distance from the herd of wild elephant so that any form of man-animal conflict can be prevented,” added Hazarika.

Hazarika also said that even if wild elephants try to launch an attack, people should maintain distance and inform the forest department.

However, people in many of these villages are now worried as the wild elephants have been damaging their banana gardens, rubber gardens, paddy fields and betel nut gardens. Many villagers depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Villagers of the area suspected that the herd of elephants was stuck in these specific places from the last few days because their corridors have blocked due to the extension works that are currently being conducted on National Highway – 17. They have urged the state government to find a solution for the wild elephants, so that the elephants can return to their habitat.

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