Forest officials seek permission to relocate elephants in two taluks (Karnataka, India)


The Hindu

Date Published

With the increase in elephant attack cases in Alur and Sakleshpur
taluks, the district forest officials have sent a proposal to their
department heads seeking approval to capture 26 elephants roaming
around there. The Deputy Conservator of Forests of Hassan has sent a
request to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) to
take up the operation.

In the past 10 years, more than 40 people have died owing to the
man-elephant conflict in the district. There have been two deaths
already in Sakleshpur this year, including one at Kuruvangi on
Saturday. Following the death, residents of the village staged a
dharna on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway (NH 75) on Sunday demanding
a permanent solution to the elephant menace. There have been many such
protests in the past five or six years.

“People have been demanding relocation of all the elephants in the
area. There may be 26 or 27 elephants in the two taluks. Our officers
on the ground are making an assessment. I have written to the PCCF
(Wildlife) seeking permission to capture all the elephants. Depending
on the direction, we will take up the operation,” Divisional Forest
Officer M.L. Manjunath told The Hindu.

The proposal has to be approved by the Ministry of Environment and
Forests (MoEF). In 2013, the MoEF had given approval to capture 25
elephants. The department so far has relocated 24, including one in
February this year. The officers are preparing to capture the
remaining jumbo soon. “A team of tamed elephants will reach our camp
at Magadihalli in Alur taluk by Tuesday and we will start the
operation on the same day or the next,” the officer said.

People’s representatives are in support of those demanding total
relocation of the elephants. Those living in the villages known for
man-animal conflict are afraid of sending their children to school. In
fact, during the 2014 general elections, the district administration
had to make special arrangements to keep voters safe.