Raising cases of man-animal conflict has become a reason of concern for the Forest, Environment and Climate Change department and a number of measures are being taken by the department to reduce such cases.
As many as two people were killed on Thursday in different incidents and one was injured by elephants on Wednesday night.
Augustin Topno (28) of Talda village was trampled to death by an elephant which entered the village while in another case, Mary Devi (75) of Nichitpur village, who was sleeping in her house was trampled to death by an elephant that broke the door of her house in search of grains kept inside. Both the villages were come under Rania police Station of Khunti district. In another case, 75-year-old Sanika Munda of Karra (Khunti) was trampled by an elephant on Wednesday night and later referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) for treatment.
Following the increasing number of cases of man-elephant conflict across the State in the last few months, Forest department, on Saturday issued a public notice informing people about steps to be taken from protecting themselves from elephants. The 13 point notice mentioned avoiding the path of elephants, not sleeping in the farm, avoiding crowding near the elephants or throwing stones at them among other precautionary measures.
The notice said that there are cases when people try to go near wild elephants out of curiosity or try to take a selfie, which leads to the elephants attacking them.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Sanjay Kumar said, “To avoid people getting close to elephants, the deputy commissioners have been directed to impose section 144 of CrPC (prohibitory order) in those areas where reports of animals entering village or en route to village are detected.”
Kumar informed that elephants are long homing rangers and keep moving from one place to another because of their peculiar feeding habits. “The elephants need more food than any other herbivore animal and thus keep moving in search of food and water. When they come out of their natural environment and encounter villagers who try to drive them away, they become aggressive,” he said.
Kumar said that the department is working towards chalking out a plant to ensure peaceful movement of elephants and study the behavourial pattern to find out what attracts or frightens them. “We are tracking the path of elephants to study their movement based on the type of flora, fauna, crop, water availability and other factors,” the PCCF said.
The department is also working towards increasing availability of food and water inside the forest for elephants so that they do not wander towards the villages. “We are working in a big way to rejuvenate old bamboo forests and plant new bamboo saplings as it is the main food of elephants. Also, we have constructed a number of check dams inside forests and going to construct more in the coming days to provide water throughout the year,” Kumar said.
The PCCF informed that the department is planning on installation of warning sensors, which will be installed in vulnerable areas and will not just identify the type of animal but also size of heard and will warn the locals about it.