Locals warned not to enter forests, provoke elephants (Corbett, India)


Harvey Dabas, Times of India

Date Published

After two persons were trampled to death by elephants in Bijrani range of Corbett National Park, the incident has created fear among villagers living on the border of forests here, many of who collect fodder for their cattle and firewood from the forests. After the Uttarakhand incident, the forest department has advised villagers not to go into the forests. 

There are 30 elephants in Rajgarh elephant reserve area and 35 in Amangarh tiger reserve area, with the latter being close to Corbett. There is no boundary between forest areas in Amangarh and Corbett. Sometimes many elephants migrate to Amangarh from Corbett. Every year, according to officials, elephants get irritated by the scorching heat, drying of water holes and movement of humans inside the forest. Before the Corbett incident, elephants also trampled to death three persons over the last few months in Bijnor district. According to officials, there are 15 water holes in Amangarh and five in Rajgarh. Most of them have insufficient water, leaving the elephants of the area to look around for water elsewhere. They move in groups with their calves and might attack humans who disturb them by entering the forest. Sometimes elephants enter sugarcane fields and human habitations in search of water and food. “We have alerted all local residents not to enter the forest area or approach water holes, which might provoke the animals. The villagers might have to face the consequences if they take such chances,” said Bijnor divisional forest officer (DFO) M Semmaran, talking to TOI.