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India’s growing population draws elephants and humans into conflict with deadly consequences on both sides

Most were killed by electric fences, poisoned or shot by locals angry at family members being killed or crops being destroyed, and accidents on railway cutting through ancient migratory routes.

AFP: ‘As India’s population grows, people are encroaching into habitats where until now the elephant, not man, has been king, with painful effects for both parties. The Indian government told parliament last year that 1,100 people had been killed in the previous three years. The elephants too are paying a heavy price with around 700 fatalities in the last eight years across the country.

Most were killed by electric fences, poisoned or shot by locals angry at family members being killed or crops being destroyed, and accidents on railway cutting through ancient migratory routes. And Karnataka, which is also part of the wider southern region criss-crossed by over 10,000 of the mighty tusked beasts weighing up to five tonnes, is on the frontline…

In Karnataka, forest rangers, mounted on elephants themselves, capture problem pachyderms and take them to the Dubare Elephant Camp. J.C. Bhaskar, an employee at the camp, describes it “like a jail”… However, while such relocations may assuage local anger, officials and activists acknowledge it is only a stopgap solution. The only effective method, according to Vinod Krishnan, an activist with NGO Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) working with local communities, is better information-sharing’. SOURCE…


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