41 elephants die in Kerala forests in 6 months (India)


Press Trust of India

Date Published

Thiruvananthapuram, May 10 (PTI) At least 41 wild elephants have died in forest ranges in Kerala in the last six months due to various reasons,according to government figures.

However, no elephant deaths had been reported due to the prevailing drought condition and lack of food and water in forests, Forest Minister K Raju has said in a written reply in the Assembly.

Wild elephants had died due to attacks by tigers, inter conflict between jumbos, electrocution and because of other natural causes, he said.

Of the total jumbo deaths, 14 were reported in Wayanad wildlife sanctuary in the northern part of the state, he said.

Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary covers 344.44 sq km, with four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty.

Sulthan Bathery range witnessed the most number number of wild elephant deaths–five, Raju said.

The figures of elephant deaths in other forest ranges in Wayanad during the period were: Tholpetty range (4), Kurichiat (3) and Muthanga (2).

Detailing various steps taken by the government to ensure enough drinking water in forests, he said over 1,500 water sources, including check dams and ponds had been renovated.

Various plants, including bamboo and fruit-bearing trees were planted to provide food for animals in the summer season, he added.

Kerala is reeling under the worst-ever drought in a century.

There were media reports that wild animals, especially jumbos, had died due to intense summer and scarcity of drinking water in state forests.