Green Minute News

Elephants have been straying almost daily from Bannerghatta to human settlements in the last few weeks. And with people complaining, forest officials have been on their toes, tackling the man-elephant conflict day in and day out. However, wildlife activists allege that the jumbos are being pushed indiscriminately from one forest area to another.

In the video captured images here, one can see elephants being driven away by field staff at Jaipurdoddi, Bellankoppe road in the Harohalli Range. With fire crackers resounding, the forest field staff was seen driving them back to the forests. Vishnu Narayan, Bannerghatta Nature Conservation Trust alleged that elephants were having a tough time as they were being driven away from place to place. He adds, “Where are they supposed to go if they are pushed in this manner even as the fire crackers are disturbing and agitating the jumbos to no end. Each day it’s the same – the animals have no place to go…..”

To this Vijay Nishanth, urban conservationist adds, “All these days, we have been saying, the reduction in the ESZ will bring elephants and other wildlife at the doorsteps of man. And Bannerghatta’s ESZ being reduced by 100 sq kms has driven the final nail into the coffin. In some zones, the extent is as less as 100 meters. The solution is not driving the elephants back as their corridors and habitat have reduced but retaining the original ESZ extent/area proposed in 2016. If the revised ESZ draft (2018) notification is finalized, the conflict will escalate….” 

Denying that elephant herds were being pushed back from one forest area to another, forest officials said, “Most elephants do not come out of the forests, only 10-15 per cent of them stray towards human settlements during the season. Now almost every day, we have been seeing elephants especially near Munninagara. These small herds are being driven back deep into the forests as many people have complained of frequent crop raids. Nowadays, jumbos have adapted so much that they frequently come to raid horticultural crops.”

A range official adds that all precautions are taken as it is very difficult to control them once they enter the villages. It is during the night time they come raiding the villages despite a 24 hour vigil. “We are using every method/measure which is safe for the animals so as to drive them peacefully back to the forests. We have never pushed them from forest to forest. We don’t want people to become revengeful and take law into their own hands and start harming the wildlife or the habitat.”

Comments (3)

  1. Start thinking out of the box (OOB). To protect wild animals and also human habitats, I suggest supply of food to them at their door steps. Ex. Tigers, lions, are carnivores and require about 5-9 kgs of meat daily. We can use drones – they come in various avatars with various carrying capacities. So, make them lift maximum quantity of quality meat, fly over jungles, spot the wilds through their camera imagery and release the food packets. Gradually, drones may draw these wilds into deeper jungle areas thus protecting human habitats. Similarly, for herbivore animals like elephants, quantity required will be more and most of them live in herds in fields/forest areas. Here, I propose to use helicopters to carry and drop their choice of food load like grass, sugarcane, coconut, jaggery etc and drop off the bundles when they spot the wilds. These OOB suggestions are doable, replicable, economical and sustainable and a win-win for all. As for water, before monsoon sets in, take some JCBs, drive into the forest identify a slopy area, scrap the earth and create little ponds that suits the terrain so that watering holes are available for them to drink, bathe and play. Do these today, tomorrow may be late.

  2. Only way is to grow food, and create water tanks in their place…

  3. Also putting railway line barricade…. making elephants to move one village to other…. only way is to grow food, create water tanks in their place..

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