Number of human deaths due to tiger attacks has gradually been declining, but there is no let up in the casualties due to elephantattacks in India. In both the cases, West Bengal has suffered the maximum human casualties in the past three years.
On the other hand, the total human deaths due to elephant attacks was 462 in 2015-16, 390 in 2014-15 and 407 in 2013-14. Total 1360 people died due to tiger and elephant attacks in the country in the past three years.
“The number of people died due to tiger attacks is showing decreasing trend. As far as human deaths due to elephant attacks is concerned, information received from states as well as those provided by the concerned division does not show a consistent trend”, said environment minister Anil Madhav Dave in his written response to a Parliament Question.
Figures show that West Bengal had reported the maximum number of human deaths due to tiger and elephant attacks in the past three years. The state had reported 41 deaths due to tiger attack during 2013-16 and 266 deaths due to elephant attackduring the same period.
Assam had reported 250 human deaths due to elephant attacks followed by Odisha (213 deaths) and Jharkhand (175) during 2013-16. In terms of reporting human casualties due to tiger attacks, Madhya Pradesh came at second position with reporting 14 deaths and Maharashtra and Karnataka came at joint third position with reporting 11 human deaths each during 2013-16.
In order to prevent such deaths, the Centre provides financial assistance to states for taking up multiple preventing measures. The activities – supported under the centrally sponsored schemes of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for the management of wildlife and its habitats in the country – include construction/erection of physical barriers such as barbed wire fence, solar powered electric fence and bio-fencing using cactus and boundary.
The other measures include improvement of habitat of wild animals by augmenting the availability of food and water in forest areas to reduce the entry of animals from forests to habitations and setting up of anti-depredation squads to drive away problematic animals.