Shrinking forest areas forcing elephants out

Shrinking forest areas forcing elephants out

Forest Dept plans to shift 20 wild jumbos from Hassan to Chamarajanagar

Disturbed by increased human activity and encroachment of their corridor, the elephants have foraged in the agriculture fields and trampled several persons to death.

Three elephant calves have died after coming into contact with the illegal electrified fences erected by farmers around their fields to keep the pachyderms out.

The residents of the villages claim that the elephants strayed into their fields and damaged the standing crops though the jumbos have no lack of forage in the forest.
With the increase in the cases of elephant attacks and loss of crop, the farmers have begun to put up electric fences drawing power illegally, leading to electrocution of the jumbos.

But, the 500-acre forest area in Aloor is not sufficient for the movement of elephants. As large tracts of the forest submerged during the construction of Gorur dam, the elephants’ abode has further shrunk. Their free movement has been obstructed due to increase in number of coffee plantation and cultivation in the land which has lain fallow so far.

The increase in the number of elephants too has contributed to the conflict between man and the animal for survival.

Relocation

The forest officials recently captured two elephants and shifted them to the Chamarajanagar forests after fixing radio collars on them. Within a week, one of them returned to its home turf.

 “The elephants are very sensitive and will not adjust to new location. They come back to their original forests and join their herd,” an officer told Deccan Herald.

Deputy Conservator of Forests of Hassan Ambadi Madhav said a herd of 20 rogue elephants required to be relocated at the earliest as it has been on a rampage in Alur. As per the Schedule (1) of the Wildlife Act, the forest department should obtain permission from the Union Forest Ministry to capture and relocate the pachyderms.

He said the department would submit a detailed proposal to the Centre, seeking permission to shift the elephants in the region.

The DCF blamed the jumbo menace on the increased human activity disturbing the elephant corridors in Hassan and neighbouring districts. The captured elephants could be relocated in Chamarajanagar division which has vast area of natural forests, he added.

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