Centre okays shifting of 25 wild jumbos from Alur

Disclosing this to reporters on Tuesday, Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara said the Ministry of Environment and Forests has approved the State’s proposal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

It has laid down certain conditions like ensuring involvement of experts, shifting the animals in batches of five, radio collaring of at least one adult female elephant in a batch and strict monitoring of their movements after translocation.

The minister said it will be one of the biggest translocation operations, and the department has started making preparations for it. “A special vehicle to transport the animals is being procured for this purpose. The operation is likely to begin in about a month’s time,” he added. He, however, said the decision as to where the animals will be relocated to, has not been taken yet.

About 25 elephants had been repeatedly straying into human habitation in Alur for the last one year and seven people have lost their lives in the last six months. The government had paid about Rs five crore as compensation for the loss of life and damage to crops due to the menace.

Besides translocating the animals, Yogeeshwara said the government has decided to convert about 23,000 acres of revenue and agriculture land in and around Alur into forest land. The move is aimed at facilitating free movement of elephants in the Alur forest range, he said.

Exchange of animals
The Minister said the Forest department has decided to hand over five pairs of trained elephants from the State to the government of Madhya Pradesh under an exchange programme. Madhya Pradesh government has not yet offered any animal so far, he added.

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