Finding answers

‘Translocation is not the solution’

Mishra told Spectrum  that a similar exercise was done in Srilanka by shifting a herd of elephants from its original habitat to another forest. The authorities had installed iron railings to prevent jumbos from going back to their original location. The translocated pachyderms died of starvation and failed to acclimatise themselves to the new terrain.

Recently, two rogue elephants caught in Hassan district and shifted to Bandipur National Park after radio collaring them went back to their original territory within a week. Much like human beings, elephants also don’t easily take to the new terrain and return to their original location through the elephant corridor. They are intelligent animals and like to live in a herd. Female elephants are extremely possessive about their calves and are ready to take any risk to protect them.

Construction of dams and reservoirs, intense cultivation and increasing human habitation are some of the major factors for human-elephant conflict in the State. Pachyderms need a vast area for their movement. They harm human beings only if they are disturbed. Elephants of Uttara Kannada district move in Uttara Kannada, Belgaum and parts of Goa.

Elephants of Mysore reserve travel in Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Kodagu, Mandya and Ramanagaram districts. “Villagers, in their bid to protect crops, draw electricity illegally and install electric fences that have resulted in the death of elephants. The Forest Department is willing to compensate farmers for crop loss,” he noted.

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