Man-jumbo conflict on rise in Alur

Shrinking forest land, vanishing green cover are prime reasons

As the forest department expresses its helplessness, the growing menace of the elephants has led to a bone of contention between the officials and farmers. The officials say they are helpless till the Union Government give permission for translocation of all the elephants from this region to other forests.

They also blame the shrinking forest land and the vanishing green cover responsible for the jumbos sneaking out from its terrain.

The villagers held the State government responsible contending that it turned a blind eye to the unabated mining, plundering of forest resources. Most of the villagers have been installing solar fencing to prevent the jumbos from destroying standing crops in their farm lands.

An autopsy report of three elephant calves confirms that they died due to electrocution. Many farmers do connect the solar fences to live wires during the night hours, which have become a headache and uncontrollable menace for the forest officials.

Elephant corridor

According to Deputy Conservator of Forests Ambadi, the elephant corridor has been destroyed in the Alur region following the construction of dams in nearby forest area.

There are 29 elephants in the forest which is only spread across one square kilometre area. An elephant needs about 3-5 square km of forest area to live with a good feeding. The one square kilometre stretch of forest in Alur is catering to about 29 elephants. This had resulted in man-elephant conflict, he explained.

He admitted that rampant mining and plundering of forest resources were also among the other reasons for elephants straying into human habitat.

He says that the forest department had been appealing the villagers and farmers not to connect their solar fences with live wires. “We have proposed for a hike in compensation for crop damage to at least `  25000 and ` two lakh to ` five lakh in case of death of any person in elephant attack”, he added.

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