TN plans trenches to keep out elephants

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to erect elephant-proof trenches for a distance of 440 km in 10 districts, including Vellore, Dharmapuri, Erode, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Anamalai tiger reserve at a cost of Rs 20 crore to stop elephants from coming out of the forests and causing damage to life and property in human habitats.

According to Forest Department secretary Mohan Verghese Chunkath ,Dharmapuri district will have the longest  trench. He pointed out that that the Asian Elephant  is a highly endangered keystone species categorized under part I of Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Government sources said that out of 24,000 elephants estimated in India, Tamil Nadu has a population of 4,015 elephants. Of this, between 700 and 1,000 elephants from various forest divisions keep straying regularly into the human habitat. This increases human-animal conflict in the villages located nearby forest areas. 

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