As jumbo attacks soar, officials move to capture them (India)


The Times of India

Date Published
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IDUKKI: With the number of elephant attacks increasing in the district, forest officialshave stepped up their efforts to capture the rogue tuskers. Sources said to capture the tuskers, including the one named Chillikomban and transfer them to the Kodanad elephant protection centre, a committee has been formed. The panel comprises chief forest conservator, field director, three veterinary surgeons and the district forest officer, among others.

Another tusker Chullikomban, which had taken the lives of six people so far and destroyed several farmlands in the region, would also be under the survelliance of the forest officials. The forest officials have a tough task at hand as on the one side they have to face protests from local residents who are wary of elephant attacks and on the other, they have to deal with wildlife activists who are against the transfer of elephants from their natural habitats.

As per estimates, over 14 rogue tuskers have been entering the human settlements in and around Munnar. “While capturing the elephants we need to make sure that they remain safe. Another point is loss of elephant path is the main reason for the man-animal conflict,” chief wildlife warden K V Varghese said.

“Taking away the jumbos from their habitat is a violation of the wildlife protection law. One should clear the elephant paths. It will reduce man-animal conflicts,” environmentalist Hareesh Vasudevan said.