J’khand: Human-wildlife conflict continues, 1 elephant and 2 people die in 24 hour

In fatal incidents of human-elephant conflict between Tuesday and Wednesday, an elephant and two people died in Jharkhand.

Shyam Gop, 87, was crushed to death by an elephant who strayed from its herd in Hutu village in Neemdih block of East Singhbhum district on Wednesday.

The victim was out of his house to attend nature’s call at around 6 a.m. when the incident occurred. The elephant appeared from the bush, crushed him and lifted him by the trunk. The police and forest department officials reached the spot after receiving information about the matter.

In a separate incident, a 74-year-old woman named Apurgiya Devi was crushed to death by an elephant on Tuesday night in Ambatand village, located at the foothills of Jhumra mountain of Bokaro district.

According to sources, she was crushed by two elephants present in the field when she came out of her house at around 10 p.m. The villagers chased the animals away by lighting torches after hearing her screams. The victim died on the spot.

After the incidents, resentment has been seen among the villagers towards the forest department. The villagers said that the elephants have been entering the village in search of food, due to which they have to bear the loss of life and property.

They suggested that the department could at the least alert the villagers of elephant’s entry by making announcements to ensure less damage.

On the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday, an elephant died after coming in contact with an 11,000 volt electric wire at Jaduguda in East Singhbhum district.

According to sources, the animal came in contact with the wire hanging at a low height after being separated from its herd that had been wandering in the area since the last week.

The villagers alleged that the forest department was already informed about the elephants in the area.

They accused the department of being responsible for the animal’s death and said that had the department taken the initiative to send them back to a safe space, their would be no loss of life.

In several districts including Giridih, Bokaro, Ranchi, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Khunti and Hazaribagh, separate herds of elephants have trampled crops in an area of more than 200 acres in the last month.

The forest department has been unsuccessful in devising any permanent solution of the same.

The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) presented a report in 2017, which stated that 21,000 km square area of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and South West Bengal was elephant habitat. Fourty-five per cent victims of human-elephant conflicts are from this region, the report added.

20221215-035003

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