Ecological imbalance forces tusker to leave its habitat (India)


Kumar Rajesh,Times of India

Date Published
BHAGALPUR: Is it ecological imbalance caused due to depleting forest reserves in the region necessitated by coal mines in neighbouring Godda district in Jharkhand that caused straying of wild elephant to Bhagalpur district killing six persons besides damaging houses and crops since Thursday?
If the forest department officials and experts are to be believed, the foremost reason behind tusker straying from its natural habitat and leaving its herd to enter human habitation followed by berserk behavior is because of complexities-reduction in green forest cover, shortage of water streams in forest areas, rise in temperature due to global warming and lack of food arising due to ecological imbalance.
It may be mentioned here that the wild tusker killed 65-year-old Aarti Devi (Dayalpur village) and 60-year-old man Prithvi Yadav (Taufik village) of Kahalgaon sub-division on Thursday night followed by 70-year-old Makri Devi (Rajpur village), 15-year-old Md Ehshan (Banshi Tikar village), 80-year-old Parsadi Tanti (Jhurkhuria village) and 75-year-old Shrista Devi (Fatehpur village) on Saturdaywhen it ran amok in the village areas of Bhagalpur district, which are near to Godda district.
Forest department sources said the wild tusker was spotted entering the borders of Godda forest areas on Sunday. The threat of return of the tusker for food and greener territory is a threat to human population as of now, added the source. There are more than a dozen wild tuskers in Godda and Dumka forests in Jharkhand and two in Banka forest areas.
There has been gradual loss of green forest areas due to increased mining, development activities and human interferences in the lives of wild creatures including elephants, said forest department experts saying intense heat conditions due to global warming lead to drying up of water reserves in forest areas.
S S Chaudhari, chief warden and conservator of wild life, department of environment and forest, who rushed from the state capital, is camping in Bhagalpur to oversee the forest department operation to steer the wild tusker away from human habitat and relocating it to forest areas of Godda. Incidents of wild animals straying into human habitation in search of food, water, etc. are indications that nothing is right in the wildlife world, said Chaudhari and added it is time for the Central government and all state governments to sit together and make action plan to save forest covers, preserve ecosystem and stop human interference with wildlife.
It is likely that the particular tusker that caused loss to human lives in Bhagalpur will rejoin its herd and live peacefully in forest areas, said Chaudhari and added the threat of return of the wild tusker remains as the elephant has seen the way to fetch food and water. The forest department has requisitioned a licensed wildlife shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan. Khan has been monitoring the movement of the tusker since Saturday.