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MAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT REASON BEHIND JUMBOS’ ATTACKS

Thursday, 18 January 2018 | PNS | Haridwar- The man-animal conflict assuming grim proportions nowadays taking a rising toll of lives, the forest officials and the wild life watchers have stumbled upon some strange behaviour among the beasts which seems to have startled them. They opine that the elephants, which are generally peaceful animals not inclined to attack humans unless extremely provoked, are turning violent when they see any human being. The reason they are ascribing to this queer behavioural change to the increasing human encroachment into their traditional habitats. According to the wildlife warden of Rajaji tiger reserve, Haridwar Range, Komal Singh, most of the ‘deras’  vacated by the Van Gujjar community people following their relocation from Chillawali range to Gaindikhata village in November last  year were found razed to the ground. “There is little doubt that the jumbos have grounded them. It seems they have done so by way of venting their anger against the humans straying into their traditional habitats and robbing them of the fodder they live upon. This is, however, purely my personal observation,” Singh said. The elephant which is seen often these days is around 17 to 18 years of age and it is the adolescent behaviour which is bothering the elephant and the humans “Sometimes it happens that the  younger ones which get separated from the herd tend to behave abnormally at times. A couple of them which are frequently getting into the residential colonies are showing such behaviour,” says a wild life watcher, adding that all these factors must be taken into account while finding out ways to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict. There is another thing which is luring the jumbos into the residential colonies. It is the weekly vegetable markets which leave a lot of fresh vegetable leftovers. “The cabbage leaves, stems and leaves of cornflowers and the like lure them in. The matter of concern is that they are hungry as they are not getting enough of food in the forest they inhabit,” said Komal Singh. “The forest department has requested the district administration to ensure that the vendors do not leave such leftovers in the markets,” Singh added. “We have taken another measure to protect the residents facing the threat from the marauding jumbos. “We are digging trenches in areas where the protective walls have been damaged in the residential colonies,” Singh said. Areas from Bilwakeshwar to Ranipur to Harnaur beat near Saharanpur have been earmarked as places which are seeing frequent entry of the elephants. Besides, we have intensified night patrolling. A forest team comprising eight members patrol   Tibdi area during the night hours,” said Singh. “If this does not work we would tranquilise such elephants and send them back into the deep forest areas,” Singh said, adding that they are leaving no stone unturned to provide protection to the people against the wild life attacks while ensuring that the animals are not harmed.

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