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Human Elephant Conflict in India

Humans have been sharing this planet with other organisms, since very long back. But after industrial revolution, this balance sharing is being distorted and we have started exploitation of resources. The Human-Animal conflict is also a result of this unbalanced process and is a great threat for their existence. According to 2017 elephant census, around 29964 elephants are roaming in forested and non-forested areas of India.  The stable population of elephants in the country has resulted into serious conflicts in states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand. The loss of their habitat, is forcing elephants to forge in human settlement areas. This results into crop raiding, injuries or sometimes even loss of human or elephant life. The damage done by these types of interactions can range from few thousand rupees to lakhs of rupees.

Various type of measures like bursting of crackers, beating drums, burning bamboos are used for physically chasing. Many wealthy farmers have opted for electric fencing of their farm areas. Trenches and fences around the elephant habitat become useless due to the human interferences. Unplanned measures results into loss of money as well as life of animals & humans both.

Approximately, 100 elephants and 500 humans die in a year due to this human-elephant interaction. As per Government records during the last three years, 1578 people have lost their life in elephant attacks. Nearly 50 percent of the human elephant encounters occur during early morning hours while others take place during cropping seasons. The Central Government has increased the ex-gratia grant from Rs 2 Lakhs to Rs 5 Lakhs for the affected people.

India has been the leading country in the field of elephant conservation and has the largest population of Asian elephants. We are having approximately 60 percent of wild Asian elephant population. It is very crucial to have a proper planning and policies for addressing the issue of human-elephant conflict. Governments have to work in a coordination for overcoming the shortfalls.




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