See link for photo.
According to villagers and forest department officers (FDO), two elephants in Goaltore village got into a fight over intrusion into their territory.
While one elephant was shot dead, the other which was injured died after a few days in Lalgarh village.
The elephant’s body was sent for post-mortem. The autopsy report revealed that the causes of death were the fight between the two animals and the eating of pesticide crops.
The toll of elephants in Midnapore and Rupnarayanpur divisions this year has risen to 10, while a total of 4 elephants have died in Lalgarh.
CONSUMING OF PESTICIDE REMAINS MAKES ELEPHANTS ILL
The consuming of pesticide remains in crops makes elephants ill, causing their death.
In earlier years, elephants coming from Jharkhand’s Dalma area in search of food used to return to their home territory. Later, they started dwelling near the villages which began posing a security hazard for villagers.
The quantity of crops destroyed in a year because of the straying of elephants is immeasureable. This has not only hurt the farmers economically, but also terrified families staying in villages, as several people have been trampled by the animal.
Indrajit Das, a villager, described the incident and the fear it has triggered among the people. “The elephant died two days ago, perhaps due to ill health. As it fell down on the ground, it suffered major injuries. This year four elephants and around 100 people have died. There are 100 elephants going amok all over the forest. This is what we are scared of.”
WHAT DOES THE DFO HAVE TO SAY
Despite the villagers blaming forest departments for not taking the responsibility to rein in the pachyderm menace in villages in East Midnapore district, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rabindranath Saha explained the cause of deaths of elephants. “Around 10 elephants have died in one year. The problem that occurs when all elephants gather in one place is that they start fighting among themselves. The male elephants, especially, fight among themselves over food and capturing of their land. Earlier, when elephants used to come to the village, they used to go back but now they don’t move out of the territory. Elephants coming from the Bankura side are staying in our Midnapore area for the rest of the years. The cause of the death is supposed to be the fight among elephants. It is a case of survival of the fittest”, said the DFO.
If the forest department does not control the situation at the earliest, the toll of both elephants as well as villagers will increase.