The Centre on Monday said that conflicts between elephants and humans have claimed of the lives of more than 750 people in the country in the past four years. “Since 2012-13 to 2014-15, 72 people lost their lives in tiger-human conflicts, while 769 human casualties were reported in the same time period in elephant-human conflicts,” environment minister Prakash Javadekar said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
While 371 people were killed after coming in contact with elephants in 2012-13, 335 people were killed in 2013-14, and 63 in 2014-15, Mr Javadekar said. In tiger-human conflicts, 22 people were killed in 2012-13, 24 in 2013-14 and 26 in 2014-15, he said. Mr Javadekar said incidences of human-wildlife interactions, including loss of human lives and damage to crops by wild animals, are reported in various parts of the country from time to time.
“The Central government provides financial assistance to states and union territories under Centrally-sponsored schemes of integrated development of wildlife habitats, project tiger and project elephant for management of wildlife and its habitats in the country which inter alia helps in preventing human-animal conflict,” he said.
The activities supported under these are construction of physical barriers, including solar power electric fence and bio-fencing using cactus, improvement of wildlife habitat by augmenting availability of food and water and others. Keeping in view the losses to crops by wild animals, the ministry has issued an advisory to states and also sought proposals from them, he said.
The officials added that as part of Project elephant, steps like constructing dedicated corridors for the smooth movement of elephants along international borders are being thought upon.