Thursday, November 15, 2018

Elephant kills morning walker


A man who was out on a morning walk was killed by an elephant here on Wednesday, the police said.

Eyewitness said an elephant chased the 54-year-old man, identified as Virendra Singh. Though he tried to flee, he failed and was attacked by the pachyderm.

The body was discovered by others who were also on a morning walk. The victim was employed with BHEL.

The BHEL colony had off and on suffered attacks by elephants and last year two persons were killed, the police said. The police said forest department officials had been asked to hunt the elephant and take it to the forest from where it had strayed into the colony. IANS

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wild elephant battling for life after getting electrocuted in Assam


Nagaon: A wild elephant was seriously injured after getting electrocuted in the Niz Laokhowa area of Assam's Nagaon district on Wednesday morning. The jumbo is now battling for its life.

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Stop Rampant Flouting Of Rules, Save Elephants, Maneka Writes To Naveen


New Delhi: Expressing her ‘grief and horror’ at the elephant deaths in Odisha, Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take urgent measures to stop elephant deaths in Odisha.

“The recent electrocution of seven tuskers in Dhenkanal, which is the highest such death toll in a single incident, has caused furore throughout the nation about the reprehensible state of elephant protection in Odisha,” Maneka wrote.

“It comes at the back of dismal statistics wherein 124 or a whopping 28 per cent casualties have taken place due to accidents and electrocution. It is tragic to note that a dozen magnificent pachyderms are dying every year due to mismanagement and incoordination between government agencies,” Maneka added.

Citing reports, she alleged that distribution companies are being given a free hand in elephant corridors without necessary oversight.

In the letter, the Union Minister also mentioned that the National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine Rs 1 crore on CESU while a probe has been launched into the Dhenkanal incident.

Expressing her disappointment on the elephants’ death, the Union Minister said that even after laying guidelines under the Shri A K Biswal committee by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the alarming trend of elephant deaths has continued unabated.

“I also urge you to take necessary action against the officials who failed to put the A K Biswal Committee recommendations into practice in the State,” Gandhi wrote.

Terming the elephants of Odisha as ‘the pride of India’, she wrote, “We owe a debt to our future generations for their welfare and safety.”

On October 22, seven elephants had died due to electrocution under Dhenkanal Sadar forest range. Similarly, on September 5, two elephants had died after being electrocuted in Jajpur district.

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Apex Court Directs States To Remove Electric Fence Around Elephant Corridors Immediately


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other States to remove electric fences and barbed wire, installed by the owners of resorts developed around the “critical” elephant corridors in the country immediately.

The Court order said “Electric fences and barbed wire, wherever installed by the resort owners, should be removed immediately.”

A three-Bench Justices comprising Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta passed the order for removing electric fences and barbed wire, which caused serious injuries to wild elephants passing through the corridors.

The Court was earlier informed that there were large-scale constructions going on in the elephant corridors particularly in Tamil Nadu following which the Court directed closure of 27 resorts raised in the Nilgiris. The Court, after directing that no construction would be permitted, ordered the Collector of the Nilgiris to prepare a plan of action on how to identify the constructions that have been made, when they have been made and for what purpose the constructions are being utilised.

Meanwhile, The Karnataka Government had earlier told the Court that it was mooting to formulate special rules for encouraging private land holders around the elephant corridors and the protected areas to declare their land as “private conservancies.” This would help in securing wider corridors for the long ranging mammals like elephants, gaurs, tigers, leopards, sambars etc., it said.

The Forest Department, along with Wildlife Trust of India, has secured Edearahalli – Doddasampige Elephant Corridor by purchasing 25.37 acres of land during the year 2003. This corridor connects Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary with Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Tiger (BRT) Reserve. “The land was transferred and registered in the name of Forest Department during 2009. The process of declaring the said area of 25.37 acres as a part of Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is under progress,” it said.

The State Government further said that its Forest Department and the Wildlife Trust of India are pursuing to secure Chamarajanagar–Talamalai Elephant Corridor, which connects Talavadi Range of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Punjur Range of BRT Reserve in Karnataka.

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Linking your cup of Assam tea to elephant conservation


Areas where the pachyderms seek refuge outside of protected areas, such as tea and other agricultural plantations, could be manipulated to manage human-elephant conflicts.

The Elephant Friendly Tea programme serves as an incentive to tea producers to reduce the impacts of tea agriculture, such as ditch hazards and fencing, on elephants.

Tea plantations are generally used as ‘stepping stones’ or ‘rest stops’ by elephants as they move through a human-dominated landscape.

Communities in proximity to elephant refuges were significantly more likely to experience conflict with elephants, predominantly in the form of crop raiding or damage to granaries.

With forest cover projected to shrink in the elephant landscape of northeast India, conservationists and a handful of growers of the iconic Assam and Darjeeling teas are experimenting with a mix of ideas to link tea farming to conservation.

India is the second largest tea grower after China and the 172-year old Assam tea industry in northeast India leads the country’s tea production.

According to 2011 census, the population of Assam forms 2.58 percent of India.

Assam with an elephant area (15, 050 square km) the size of East Timor, is India’s prime elephant range state, harbouring 5719 jumbos, the highest population of wild elephants in the country after Karnataka.

While connoisseurs across the world deliberate on the perfect cuppa, tensions mount as habitats shrink and sprawling tea estates block historic migratory passages of the jumbos, stoking incidences of man-elephant conflicts in the state.

As recent as last month (October 2018), tea garden workers laid seige at the residence of the garden’s manager after a herd of wild elephants reportedly trampled a labourer engaged in plucking leaves, in Assam’s Udalguri district, along the scenic India-Bhutan border.

But small tea farmer Tenzing Bodosa, who owns two gardens in Assam’s Udalguri district, takes pride in the fact that his farm produces certified elephant-friendly tea.

Transboundary walking routes

Herds of wild elephants move back and forth with the seasons across the international border between India and Bhutan.

Bodosa’s farms totalling 40 acres have been certified as the world’s first elephant-friendly tea farms under Elephant FriendlyTM Tea program, a partnership of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network and the University of Montana Broader Impacts Group.

Bodosa, who switched to organic farming methods around 10 to 12 years ago maintains a small refuge patch like a forest as an extension of his farm. Unlike other growers in the area, there are no drainage ditches where the ambling pachyderms can fall into or fences that hinder their progress.

“I preserve plants such as bamboo, elephant grass and different fruit plants that elephants prefer in their habitat. I have a buffer area where I maintain forest patches where the elephants come. We do not use pesticides or poisons. During day-time they take shelter and then towards evening they move out,” Bodosa told Mongabay India.

The certification program serves as an incentive to tea producers to reduce the impacts of tea agriculture on elephants, observed Lisa Mills, liason for University of Montana on this project.

Adherence to certification standards helps wild elephants by reducing the blockage of elephant corridors, lowering human-elephant conflict, eliminating electrocution and poisoning risks and mitigating ditch hazards, Mills said.

It also replaces habitat loss with habitat recovery and supporting landscape connectivity and foraging opportunities for far-ranging wild elephants in a human-dominated landscape.

“With a percentage of every sale going back to support elephant conservation in the communities where the tea is grown, tea drinkers can directly support human-elephant co-existence.”

From your cuppa to elephant habitat

Apart from Bodosa’s farms, the 1200 acre Nuxalbari Tea Estate in Darjeeling in northern West Bengal has become the first large tea estate in the world to be certified as elephant-friendly this year. West Bengal, on the east coast, is intersected with inter-state and inter-country elephant corridors.

Sonia Jabbar, who runs the organic tea estate, had initiated human-animal conflict mitigation and conservation steps seven years before coming across the certification programme.

“We have made a commitment to abstain from violence and protect elephant herds as they visit our gardens. It is heart wrenching to see how elephants are hounded and chased away with sticks, stones and fireworks in what was once their migratory routes. We would have continued with our efforts whether we received the certification or not,” Jabbar said.

For instance, the estate’s Haathi Saathi (elephant is a friend) initiative educates and sensitises workers’ children while security guards are trained to let the jumbos pass through unharmed.

India with 27, 312 elephants is also home to 60 percent of the global population of Asian elephants.

Kushal Konwar Sarma, noted elephant veterinarian and veteran conservationist, explained that vast swathes of forests were alienated for tea plantations in 19th century Assam under the then British government as part of their “wasteland grants.”

The book “Playing with Nature: History and Politics of Environment in North-East India” states that “in the face of huge expanse of forested areas and the discovery of tea, imperial interests came to include forests within the connotation of ‘wastelands’, something that is waste and so becomes necessary to put to productive use.”

“These plantation areas were government lands on lease to the tea companies, they do not belong to the tea gardens. It was a condition given by the British government initially that we are giving you this plot of land on lease for tea plantation but you have to leave ten percent of the area for wildlife. But people forgot about it and only a handful of tea gardens are following this,” Sarma told Mongabay-India.

“When we started our conservation work we realised that elephants need a place to rest, they need some food and water. Tea is not palatable to the elephants. We formed the idea of community elephant refuges where people can maintain a forest of couple of hectares with a perennial source of water which we can do with the help of the bigger tea gardens and the whole area can be replanted with food trees for the elephants,” Sarma said.

Tea gardens as part of elephant-friendly landscape?

Elephants see tea gardens as an extension of their forest habitats, but it is difficult to convince people to act on it by introducing refuge patches, Sarma concedes.

“They say ‘why to bring the trouble to your courtyard’ but we counter them by pointing out that the trouble is already here. These elephants are hungry, they are on empty stomachs, they are like tsunamis, they break through your houses and raid crops. But if you create a refuge, they will visit your villages but they will visit like gentle ocean waves,” he said.

“We have managed to convince some good tea garden managers in Udalguri and Sonitpur districts. They have earmarked areas for wildlife. These areas are frequented by elephants,” observed Sarma.

Scott Wilson, co-author of a 2013 study that analysed elephant occurrence and related instances of human–elephant conflict from two sites in Assam, said tea plantations in themselves could potentially be considered as part of a larger more elephant friendly landscape.

He iterated that areas where the pachyderms seek refuge (tea and other agricultural plantations rather than national parks or other significant natural habitats) could be manipulated to manage human-elephant conflicts.

But these measures are more of a “firefighting” mechanism, according to Wilson and Sarma.

“Realistically, resources are probably better focussed on protecting and expanding the core elephant habitats within India and protecting elephant populations providing the best probabilities of long term persistence,” Wilson, Head of Field Programmes, Chester Zoo, told Mongabay-India.

Chester Zoo’s Valerie de Liedekerke who manages the Assam Haathi Project adds that there may be instances where key elephant habitats could be effectively ‘connected’ using mitigation and improved refuges, but she suspects these instances will be rare.

“I wouldn’t advocate that efforts shouldn’t be made to improve elephant conservation and welfare in these plantations, just that they need to be realistically assessed when considering the wider elephant landscape and where strategic investment of effort should be,” Liedekerke said.

Sarma said the inevitable is already happening.

“Everyday elephants are dying of electrocution, poisoning, farmers are killing them, somebody is killing them for ivory, trains are running over them across the country. If you target one species like this then how long will they survive,” he wondered.

Official figures show nearly 800 people were killed by wild elephants in Assam between 2006 and 2016. As many as 72 elephants were killed between 2013 and 2014, with more than 100 killed in 2012.

Forest cover in Lesser Himalayan elephant landscape predicted to fall

Assam’s forests and its elephant corridors are reeling under encroachment pressure. Studies by the Wildlife Trust of India reveal that in northeast India 52.2 percent of elephant corridors are under settled cultivation and 43.4 percent under slash and burn cultivation.

Indian government data has linked tea gardens to a decrease in forest cover in some Assam districts.

“The decrease in forest cover in some districts is mainly due to rotational felling in tea gardens, shifting cultivation and developmental activities,” the environment ministry’s State of the Forest report said in 2017.

A 2018 study that monitored the reduction of forest cover in parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh over 42,375 square km in an elephant landscape falling in the Lesser Himalaya in the northeast, predicted a further likely decrease of 9007.14 square km by 2028.

The analysis which covered a vast elephant landscape spread across West Bengal-Assam, Assam-Bhutan and Assam-Arunachal Pradesh borders in the lesser Himalayas, found “an alarming, continuous” loss of about 7,590 square km (17.92 per cent) of forest cover from 1924 to 2009.

The area under tea gardens also increased during the study period. Other non-forest

categories too showed progressive increase in area in time and space, and a further increase is expected by 2028. Area under tea gardens is expected increase from 713. 97 square km in 2009 to 720.54 square km in 2028, the study said.

Wilson, whose study extended to the tea garden dominated Sonitpur district, also referred to as the ground-zero of human elephant conflict, said the animals used the tea plantations (in Sonitpur site) as ‘stepping stones’ as they move through a human-dominated landscape.

“Taking refuge in the plantations during the day and then moving out during the night to continue their migration or sometimes to just use the tea plantations as a ‘base’ for periods from which they will then forage in outlying cropland during the night,” Wilson told Mongabay-India.

There is evidence to show that they raid crops or grain stores of communities that surround tea plantations, said Wilson.

Wild elephants also use the elongated and narrow gardens along the southern banks of the Brahmaputra river while moving to and from the Kaziranga National Park and Karbi-Anglong hills, observed Sarma.

The problem of plenty

Wilson’s study elaborates that the tea garden communities are largely composed of immigrant labourers, and such communities may not have the experience of dealing with elephants or share the local tolerant attitude towards elephants, which is influenced by religion.

The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change highlights that development activities and houses in movement path of elephants (especially labour lines in tea gardens) are also causes of encounter between human and elephants leading to conflict.

These communities live on the edge of tea gardens, which function as refuge areas, and are therefore situated in high-risk areas for human–elephant conflict.

“Our study found that communities in proximity to refuges (whether this be forest patches or tea plantations) were significantly more likely to experience conflict with elephants (predominantly in the form of crop raiding or damage to granaries),” said Wilson.

Ideally refuge areas need to be forest corridors rather than tea plantation – these would have wider wildlife and ecological benefits, he added.

But in many areas the domination of people in the landscape makes this prospect very difficult – in terms of acquisition of land to make into refuge but also the fact that it potentially invites greater conflict for the communities surrounding these refuges, Wilson said.

Such an undertaking would therefore need very strong stakeholder support and mitigation measures to enable communities to coexist with elephants.

Sarma said we have collectively allowed human population to grow beyond the carrying capacity of the land.

“This is an ecology fragile area and is a biodiversity hotspot and we need to preserve sanctity of the place. Politically motivated trans-migration of people (pre- and post-Independence) was engineered. In addition, almost one crore of tea garden labourers come from Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. So when people are here, they need land for survival and now elephants have nowhere to go,” Sarma bemoaned.

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Elephant Deaths In Odisha: Maneka Urges CM Naveen To Take Measures


New Delhi: Expressing grief over the elephant deaths in Odisha, Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, has urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take urgent measures for the safety and welfare of the pachyderms.

In a letter to the Odisha CM, Maneka wrote: “The recent electrocution of seven tuskers in Dhenkanal, which is the highest such death toll in a single incident, has caused furore throughout the nation about the reprehensible state of elephant protection in Odisha.”

“It comes at the back of dismal statistics wherein 124 or a whopping 28 per cent casualty has taken place due to accidents and electrocution. It is tragic to note that a dozen magnificent pachyderms are dying every year due to mismanagement and in coordination between government agencies,” Maneka added.

The Union Minister while citing reports alleged that distribution companies are being given a free hand in elephant corridors without necessary oversight.

In the letter, the Maneka also mentioned that the National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine Rs 1 crore on CESU while a probe has been launched into the Dhenkanal incident.

Expressing her disappointment on the elephants’ death, the Union Minister said that even after laying guidelines under the AK Biswal committee by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the alarming trend of elephant deaths goes unabated.

“I also urge you to take necessary action against the officials who failed to put the AK Biswal Committee recommendations into practice in the State,” Maneka wrote.

Terming the elephants of Odisha as ‘the pride of India’, she wrote, “We owe a debt to our future generations for their welfare and safety.”

On October 22, seven elephants had died due to electrocution under Dhenkanal Sadar forest range. Similarly, on September 5, two elephants had died after being electrocuted in Jajpur district.

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Odisha forest's trained elephant tramples villager to death


By Express News Service BHUBANESWAR/ANGUL: A trained elephant of Chandaka forest used in tranquillising tigress Sundari, trampled a villager to death …

To read the full article, click on the story title.

Govt banks on Indo-German project to halt humanwildlife conflicts


NEW DELHI: The Centre is banking on an Indo-German Human-Wildlife
conflict mitigation project to prevent a recurrence of the controversial
killing of tigress Avni in Maharashtra and deaths of seven elephants by
electrocution in Odisha last month.

The Indo-German project aims to provide technical support at the national
level and in selected states for effective implementation of conflict
mitigation measures so that both human and animal lives could be saved
by shifting from 'conflict' to 'co-existence' mode.

"We have been doing pilots in three states - Uttarakhand, West Bengal
and Karnataka - under the Indo-German project. Three sites have been
selected keeping in mind tiger and elephant population in those areas," said S Sathyakumar, scientist at Dehradun-based

Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Kodagu forest circle in Karnataka, Terai Arc Landscape in Uttarakhand and Gorumara wildlife division in north Bengal are three
areas where the government agencies have been working in technical cooperation with the German government.
Sathyakumar, who deals with the Indo-German project, told TOI on Saturday that the objective is to frame guidelines and
standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that humans and wildlife could co-exist.

"The idea is to prevent conflict wherever possible through taking enabling measures and creating awareness among people
living around the wildlife habitat and their path of movement from one region to other," he said.

The success of the pilot project, signed last year, will be replicated at the national level, covering protected areas, national
parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

An official note says that the project focuses on three output areas - development of action plan to reduce human wildlife
conflict, pilot application of a holistic approach and instruments for mitigation of conflicts and facilitating capacity development
of key stakeholders.

Figures, compiled by the Union environment ministry, show that more than 1,600 people were killed due to elephant and tiger
attacks across the country between 2014-15 and 2017-18. While 1,557 people were killed due to elephant attacks, 49 were
killed due to tiger attacks during the period.

According to WWF-India, tigers tend to avoid people, but can attack in self defence if they are taken by surprise or if they are
with their young ones. Such incidences may sometimes lead to humans being mauled or killed by chance.

It says, "Occasionally, an aged, sick or injured tiger that is unable to hunt its natural prey may also kill a human being and feed
on the body. A few such tigers may resort to killing human beings intermittently since man is an easy prey. But not all aged, sick
or injured tigers become man-eaters."

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jumbo population doubles in Andhra Pradesh


Direct sighting method used to arrive at the figure

The population of elephants has doubled in Andhra Pradesh in the past decade, despite the pachyderms taking the lives of 13 people in the forests of north Andhra Pradesh since early 2008.

Srikakulam District Forest Officer Ch. Shanti Swaroop told The Hindu that the casualties occurred in the districts of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram.

Ironically, the incident of irate villagers killing one elephant and burying it in a field in Srikakulam district in 2010 forced the forest authorities to chalk out plans to address the intensified conflict between forest dwellers and elephants. The Synchronized Elephant Population Estimation, India, 2017, published by the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) throws light on the situation. “The total number of elephants reported was between 55 and 65 in Andhra Pradesh; 30 in Chittoor West, 24 in Tirupati forest division and 4 in Srikakulam division.”

Regular movements

According to the Elephant Division of the MoEFCC, a total of 28 elephants was reported in A.P in 2007, 41 in 2012 and 65 in 2017.

Given the regular movements of a few herds between Andhra forests and the ones in Odisha and Karnataka, the number of total elephants was estimated between 55 and 65 as per the ‘direct sighting’ method of the census. The census is normally carried out once in four years, the next census will come out in 2022.

“It is a celebrating development that the population of the elephants in A.P has doubled. Having the data on the gender of the elephants is one of the key factors to come up with scientific reports on the growth of the elephants’ population in future,” wildlife biologist Rakesh Kalwa told The Hindu.

Associated with the Hyderabad-based Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, Mr. Rakesh is engaged in documenting the gender of the elephants in the State. “Our findings on the gender during the 2017 census does not support for scientific conclusions on the gender. However, the next census will mostly have scientific data on the gender,” he said.

Mr. Rakesh says pachyderms roaming in northern Andhra are more ferocious than the others in the State.

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Roads, railway tracks turn deathtraps for animals


Official records say Uttara Kannada district has one of the most dense and diverse forest covers in the entire Southern peninsula. However, environment enthusiasts are waging a losing battle to conserve the biodiversity.

Data shows that the district, which till 1973 had nearly 67.73% of its total land under forest cover, is
losing its greenery at the rate of 13% per year. According to a report by environment scientist T V

Ramachandra and others at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, by 2013, Uttara Kannada had only
32.08% of its total land under forest cover. The report mentioned that development works, agriculture
activities, encroachments and other non-forest activities had robbed o
the green cover.

If the past was tensed for the pristine
forests in the cradle of Western Ghats, the future seems to be uncertain due to ‘development’ works
that cut through the district.

While projects such as Seabird, Gerusoppa Dam, Supa Dam, Kaiga Atomic Power Station reduced the
forest cover by nearly 64,355 hectare in the last few decades; new projects such as Hubballi-Ankola

Railway Line, widening of Sirsi-Kumta State Highway, expansion of the Kaiga plant, mini-hydro
projects, enhancement of port capacity, etc., are expected to eat further into the evergreen, semideciduous
and reserve forest areas. Neighbouring Belagavi district, where a small portion of Western

Ghats runs, is also not spared as railway and national highway works are set to bring down thousands
of trees.

Environmentalists are fighting against the implementation of Hubballi-Ankola Railway Line, as the 163
km broad gauge would destroy over 1.78 lakh trees in 1,472 acres of the core forest areas, which
comprise a tiger reserve and an elephant corridor. The project, which was proposed at an estimated
cost of Rs 453 crore in the Railway Budget of 1997-98, will now be completed at an estimated cost of

Rs 3,750 crore. A recent report submitted by the National Tiger Conservatory Authority of the Union
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, not only recommended scrapping of the project, but also stated that if implemented, it would result in a total environment loss to the tune of Rs 623 crore. The project is expected to be completed 10 years, from the date of commencement.

Ananth Hegde Ashisara, former chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force, said the railway line between Hubballi and Ankola is neither economically viable nor environmentally feasible.

Governments are also pushing for the implementation of Tinai Ghat-Castle Rock railway doubling
project, which requires 10.45 hectares of forest land, out of which 9.57 hectares falls within the

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. More than 1,700 trees will have to be cut for this project.

Ironically, there are already two railway lines — Londa-Khanapur and Alnavar-Londa-Castlerock —
that pass through the Western Ghats of Belagavi and Uttara Kannada districts and they have become
deathtraps for animals. In the last few years, more than 20 Indian bison, two elephants and several
other animals have lost their lives on these tracks.

People are also flabbergasted at the pace at which the sanctions for the widening of highways are
being given in the last few months. Projects which were in abeyance for decades are being
implemented in months now.

The widening of National Highway 4A that connects Belagavi with Goa border via Khanapur,
Ramanagar, Anmod Ghat, was first proposed in 2005 and was to be completed in two phases. While
the first phase — connecting Belagavi with Khanapur — had no objection from anyone, the second
phase that cuts through the thick forest of Londa region, required proper mitigation measures.

However, the National Highway Authority of India, which received approval for the second phase in
principle called a tender and started cutting of trees inside the reserve forest area within days of
receiving permission in October. Oicially,
more than 22,622 trees will be rooted out to widen the
present 14 metre road to 26 metre road.

Sachin Patil, Wildlife Warden of Belagavi, rues that government is widening a road which is hardly in
use, as there are two alternative roads connecting Belagavi with Goa. Moreover, the Goa side of
highway is not being widened. “No proper mitigation measures are being taken to reduce roadkills.

This stretch is an elephant corridor and also a house for tigers, black panthers, and other rare
species,” he said.

The Union government is also rushing to upgrade the Sirsi-Kumta State Highway into a National
Highway (NH-69) by widening it under the Sagar Mala Project. The project, estimated to cost Rs 360.63
crore, is expected to be completed in 18 months. Conservation Biologist Keshava H Korse said, “No
one asked for this project. The present road is suicient
for the traic
the highway sees. Devimane

Ghat is highly sensitive and in hilly areas, no one expects to zip through the hairpin curves.” He fears
that cutting of 15,072 trees from the hill side would result in flooding, landslide and other disasters.

Alongside, there are proposals to upgrade six other State Highways in Uttara Kannada district into
National Highways under the Sagar Mala Project.
Environmentalists fear that the proposed installation of fifth and sixth nuclear reactors at the Kaiga plant would result in further destruction of trees in the region. While laying high voltage wires for the first four units, the Nuclear Power Corporation Of India had removed thousands of trees from the 732 hectare forest land. Though there is a proposal for laying of underground cables, there is no clear picture as to how much forest land would be engulfed for this purpose.

There is confusion among officials and elected representatives regarding the implementation of proposed 12 mini-hydro projects across Uttara Kannada district. While officials claim that the project has been dropped, elected representatives campaign for elections saying hydro projects would light up houses in the remote villages of the district.
The proposed capacity enhancement of ports such as Belekeri, Amdalli, Karwar, Tadadi and Ankola will not only destroy the estuaries of River Kali, Sharavathi and Aghanashini, but is set to spell doom for Western Ghats as higher number of heavy vehicles would ply on these sensitive roads. Diversion of rivers such as Kali and Aghanashini will also have a huge impact on the Western Ghats as they have to draw pipelines inside the forest area, which will result in the destruction of large tracts of forest.

Environment writer Nagesh Hegde said that people have already started feeling the impact of destruction. “Uttara Kannada, the land of many rivers, is facing drinking water crisis in summer. There is also a steady decrease in the rainfall,” he notes.“It’s time we question the need for this kind of development which is not sustainable.”

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Karnataka to initiate action on SC’s electric fence removal order


BENGALURU: In the wake of the Supreme Court directing the removal of electric fences and barbed wires in critical elephant corridors of Karnataka, the state forest department will begin the process of survey and identification. They will then instruct DCFs to remove them immediately.

As per court directions, such installations put up by resort owners should be removed immediately as they can injure elephants and other wildlife. The next hearing for this matter is on November 27.Speaking to The New Indian Express, Chief Wildlife Warden C Jayaram said, “We will start identifying such installations by resorts. The local DCFs will be instructed to remove them immediately. We have to find the areas where there are such electric fences/barbed wires.”

Elephant corridors

The state forest department is in the process of securing some critical elephant corridors in the state by purchasing land from farmers. This is being done under the Right of Passage - National Elephant Corridors Project in collaboration with Wildlife Trust of India. The Doddasampige corridor connecting MM hills sanctuary with BRT tiger reserve has been secured with the purchase of 25 acres. The Forest Department will now proceed to secure the Mudahalli corridor, that is contiguous with Kerala, and the Chamrajanagar-Talamalai corridor, that is contiguous with Tamil Nadu.

To boost this project, the idea of private conservancies was rejected for securing corridors, Jayaram added. “In case farmers come together in a group and want to convert their lands, we could have broadened the corridor. However, some people have objected to this concept but they have not put forward definite reasons for opposing private conservancies and so this idea was mooted.”

Rising electrocution cases

In the last two years, Karnataka has witnessed many incidents where elephants/leopards/tigers were electrocuted by illegal electric fencing near the elephant corridors of Bandipur, MM Hills, BRT and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Since January 2017, 18 elephants/leopards/tigers have been electrocuted in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Chamrajnagara, Kodagu and other districts.

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http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2018/nov/13/karnataka-to-initiate-action-on-scs-electric-fence-removal-order-1897473.html

Young Elephant Is Freed After A Six-Hour-Long Rescue Operation


Footage of the event on Saturday shows the clearly distressed juvenile bashing against the walls of the well frantically as rescuers at the scene in southern India desperately to to free it. Heroic rescuers worked to dig a ramp for the elephant to climb out despite the animal becoming dangerous due to its frenzied state.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Elephants break structures in park at Guriguripal


A herd of 50 elephants rampaged through a four-acre park at Guriguripal on Saturday night, breaking boundary walls and damaging several structures, including slides and sitting arrangements.

The animals have been roaming in the jungles of West Midnapore’s Guriguripal, about 15km from Midnapore town, for the past six months.

The Bengal forest department maintains the 10-year-old park located between a thicket and cropland. The park has an artificial pond which attracted elephants in the past.

On Sunday morning, it was found that in addition to damaging the park, the elephants had also eaten or damaged most of the paddy on the farmland surrounding the park.

An official of Midnapore Sadar block administration said it would be risky to reconstruct the wall and other structures till the herd was driven away.

“Earlier, there were fewer elephants in the area but now, the herd has increased to about 50. So, we don’t want to take up repairs until the herd leaves the area,” said an official.

Rabindranath Saha, the divisional forest officer of Midnapore range, said: “The herd has increased in number over the past six months in the Midnapore Sadar block. Nine persons have been killed by elephants over the past six months in West Midnapore district. There is another herd that is roaming in the jungles of Kharagpur block about 40km away.”

A senior forester said the department was running short of manpower and was not in a position to tackle such a big herd.

“We are planning to enlist the help of our counterparts in Jaldapara in north Bengal. We will get a special type of gun that fires ‘chilli bombs’. These are used to drive away elephants,” the officer said.

Saha said in addition to Gurguripal, the 50-member marauding herd had caused scare in in the forest villages of Dumurkota, Junesole, Panjasole, Shukhnakhali, Gurabandi, Chandra and Pirakata also.

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More than 100 elephants destroy crops & houses after entering villages in Mayurbhanj


Mayurbhanj (Odisha), Nov 12 (ANI): More than 100 elephants entered Phulajhari and Brahmani villages in Rasagobindpur forest range in Mayurbhanj & destroyed many acres of standing crops and houses in the area. The elephants came from West Bengal and Jharkhand. Reportedly, an elderly man was seriously injured and another one dead after being attacked by an elephant. Such incidences have caused inconvenience to residents who fear destruction of their houses and crops.

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Cow elephant found dead inside plantation


IDUKKI: A cow elephant was reportedly gored to death after it got into a
fight with a rogue tusker inside the KDHP Lakshmi Estate here on

Saturday. The carcass of the 14-year-old cow elephant was found by
plantation workers on Sunday morning.

Forest officials suspect it to be an attack by the tusker when the cow
refused to respond to its mating calls. Plantation workers said that they
had heard elephant roars on Saturday night.

The autopsy of the carcass will be conducted on Monday. Forest
department veterinary surgeon P Jayakumar, Munnar range officer M S

Suchindranath will lead the autopsy.

Suchindranath said that the actual cause of death can be revealed only after autopsy. “Presently we cannot conclude that the
death was connected to mating,” he said.

He also said that a herd of elephants had entered the plantation areas in the past two weeks.

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Odisha: Herd of elephants destroy crops, houses in Mayurbhanj


A herd of elephants destroyed crops and houses in villages of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. More than 100 elephants came from West Bengal and Jharkhand. Reportedly, an elderly man was seriously injured and another one died after being attacked by an elephant. Residents in the villages ae living in fear after the attack.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Elephant Brought in to Catch Tigress Tramples Man to Death


A 49-year-old man was killed on Thursday, 8 November, by an elephant who had been brought in to help capture a tigress in Odisha’s Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary.

According to a statement released by the state Forest Department, locals had been demanding that the tigress, Sundari, be removed from the area as she had allegedly killed two people, The Indian Express reported.

Following these complaints, a female ‘kumki’ (trained) elephant called Joshoda was brought into the sanctuary to help track down the tigress. The elephant trampled a man, Sudur Pradhan, while he was feeding her, the report said quoting a Forest Department statement.

Authorities did not explain why an untrained man was allowed to feed an elephant.

The forest department has announced Rs 4 lakh as compensation and an immediate ex gratia payment of Rs 40,000 to Pradhan’s family, the report added.

The tigress Sundari was caught and tranquilised on Tuesday, 6 November, by a team that had been tracking her for a fortnight. The Forest Department said it has not decided about the tigress’ future.

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Eight-year-old tusker falls into open well, rescued


KRISHNAGIRI: An eight-year-old male elephant, which fell into an open
well in the reserve forest along the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border on
Friday night, was rescued after four hours of struggle on Saturday
morning.

According to forest officials, the well was not more than 30 ft-deep and
farmers of Uppupallam village near Hosur had been using water from it for
irrigation.

“The tusker might have fallen into the well due to lack of visibility. Villagers
alerted us on Saturday around 6.30am. Using earthmover, we created a
slope to help the tusker come out of the well. As soon as it came up, the
elephant headed to the reserve forest. We didn’t find any injury and the elephant looked fine. We are monitoring its
movement,” said a forest official.

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4 kumki elephants to drive 2 rogue tuskers back to forest


COIMBATORE: Vijay and Bommi, the two kumkis (trained elephants)
brought from the Mudumalai Elephant Camp, started field operations at
the Thadagam forest range on Saturday. Coimbatore-based kumkis

Cheran and John will aid them in the efforts to chase away two rouge
elephants that have intruded into the residential area.

Together, the four tuskers will guide wild elephants Vinayaka and Chinna

Thambi away from human habitations over the next fortnight. Forest
department officials hope that the wild elephants will move on to another
forest beat.

Vijay and Bommi were taken for a short walk in and around the forest area to help them acclimatize, forest department officials
said. They plan to station both the elephants on the forest fringes rather than deep inside the forest areas. “They will be
stationed on the fringes from Saturday and will get into action if any of the two troublesome wild elephants come out of the
forest,” chief conservator of forests Deepak Shrivastava said. “Since there are two wild elephants, one being Vinayaka, a
massive tusker, Cheran and John will help the duo in the operation,” he told TOI.

The department will assess the situation after 15 days of continuous operation, said the official. “If the wild elephants stop
coming to the villages and the Thadagam range in 15 days, we can consider the issue solved. Otherwise, we will look into other
options,” said Shrivastava.

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Odisha acts to end electrocution of elephants


After the electrocution of seven elephants in Dhenkanal district, forest authorities in the district have asked the energy department to be careful about the power supply infrastructure in the elephant habitat areas.

A 1.8km stretch of the forest area has been identified as a vulnerable corridor of elephants in Kenonjhar forest division as high-voltage electric wires are sagging at a low height at specific spots. The North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (Nesco) authorities have been strictly told to ensure that the electric wires were placed at a height of 17-18ft above the ground.

The forest department is deeply concerned over the incident that took place in Sadar forest range of Dhenkanal district. The Nesco has been directed to take corrective measures on a war-footing so that elephants are protected from sagging overhead lines, said an official of Keonjhar forest division.

The forest department has also asked the Nesco to undertake the underground cable work of high-tension supply lines across vulnerable zones to protect elephants from electrocution.

According to latest census of these animals, Keonjhar is home to 40 elephants. Elephants frequently migrate from Jharkhand to Keonjhar forest. About 149 elephants are firmly ensconced in the forest. The animals are straying into the forested areas of Keonjhar from Similpal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district and Jharkhand.

The vulnerable zones where electric lines were found sagging are located in Champua, Bhuian Juanga Peedha forest range, Sadar and Barbil forest ranges.

Elephants perishing due to electrocution have been a few over the years. According to the last record, two full-grown elephants died in 2011 when came in contact with sagging live wire in Telekoi of Keonjhar district.

The forest department has also issued advisories asking the railway authorities to initiate corrective measures for protection of elephants from getting killed on railway tracks. The officials of Keonjhar forest division and East Coast Railway authorities held discussions on Thursday to ensure the safety of these animals, who face the threat of being mowed by moving trains.

The Daitary-Banshapala rail line stretches across 42km through the forest areas of the Keonjhar district. These areas are elephant habitation corridors. It is also the migration path of these animals. So, safety of these animals has been prioritised in co-ordination with the railways. The railway authorities have consented to impose suitable speed restrictions on identified locations.

Signage boards have been installed on identified corridors. The elephant squad staffs, who track the animals’ movement along the rail line zones, will swiftly inform the forest department control room, which in return would alert the rail control room for speed control of moving passenger and goods trains. The railways have been asked to reduce the train speed to 30km per hour on the elephant migration rail route, an official said.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Jumbo carcass found in Deogarh, tusks missing


BHUBANESWAR: Two weeks after seven elephants were electrocuted at
Kamalanga in Odisha's Dhenkanal district, the carcass of a jumbo was
found in Khamar range of Deogarh forest division. Both its tusks were
missing.

Officials of the forest department said the carcass was at least two-day
old. It has been sent for postmortem. "The elephant will be no less than 20
years of age. There was neither any visible external injury mark on its
body nor any electrocution mark anywhere. But the tusks had been
removed," Kartik Chandra Samantray, divisional forest officer (Deogarh),
said.

The carcass was found around 7km from human habitation in an area that cannot be called a deep forest. The late recovery of
the carcass has raised questions about the efficacy of the forest department personnel patrolling the area. "Despite being fully
aware that it is a sensitive area, the forest officials were not vigilant. The incident has taken place in an accessible area further
exposing the apathy of the department," Biswajit Mohanty, secretary, Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO), alleged. He added that
the missing tusks clearly point to the involvement of professional poachers in the incident.

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Forest dept to explore tech use to prevent jumbo deaths


Kolkata: Concerned over the death of elephants, particularly on the railway tracks in North Bengal, the state Forest department will hold a workshop at Chalsa on November 16 and 17, to explore technology that can be adopted to prevent such deaths. "There are a number of technologies that are presently available to track the movement of jumbos in the forest areas. But calibrating them has been the challenge. The workshop will deliberate upon and showcase the various technologies and at the same time, there will be demonstrations on the calibration aspect too," said Ravi Kant Sinha, the chief wildlife warden of the state.

It may be mentioned that IIT Delhi has come up with a seismic sensor technology that will give a vibratory signal about the pachyderms' movement near rail tracks, once fitted. A message would be sent to the nearest station master and the driver of trains about to pass through the area, so that they remain alert.

"There are some other technologies involving CCTV surveillance and sending alerts through SMS to the train driver that will be showcased at the two day workshop," added Sinha. The railway tracks between Siliguri and Alipurduar, stretching close to 165 km, have witnessed more than 60 elephants being killed by trains since 2004. The tracks pass through several forest areas, including the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. The conference is being organised by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the state Forest department. Senior officials from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will also be present at the two day conference, along with representatives of Railways, the Wildlife Institute of India, NGOs and local communities. "There have been a handful of elephant deaths on national highways as well. We want to have a comprehensive technological use to curb jumbo deaths. So, we are involving every single stakeholder," a senior official of the state Forest department said. Prodded by the Supreme Court to curb the death of elephants on railway tracks and by electrocution, it was 2013 when the ministry of Environment and Forests had proposed the use of technology. A pilot project to test the sensors is underway at the Rajaji National Park near Dehradun. The issue of the death of the pachyderms has come up for discussion in several meetings between the state government and the Railways in particular. The South Eastern Railway has plans to restrict the speed of trains from 7 pm till 5 am in the morning at 70 km per hour in Kharagpur and Adra division that covers forest areas of Purulia, West Midnapore and Jhargram.

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Haridwar tusker was shot dead, reveals autopsy


HARIDWAR: An autopsy has revealed that the 20-year-old male elephant
which was found dead near Hazaragrant area of Haridwar forest division
of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve on Thursday died of a bullet injury. Forest
officials found a bullet lodged in the tusker’s carcass while conducting the
autopsy. According to officials, the bullet pierced the animal’s heart
causing its death.

Divisional forest officer Aakash Verma said that “it seems that a countrymade
gun was used to kill the elephant.” “We are probing if it is a case of
poaching or something else.”

He added that a case has been registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Incidentally, officials said that the elephant’s
tusk was “found intact and no other injuries were spotted.”

The region is known for frequent conflicts between farmers and elephants who stray out of the reserve and destroy standing
crops in the nearby villages. In a horrific incident earlier this year, a fully grown tusker was electrocuted by a farm land owner in
Pherupur village of Haridwar range.

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Friday, November 09, 2018

Celebrity elephant is gentle giant as he lets toddler feed him bananas


A brave and curious toddler came right up to a huge elephant in southern India, was allowed to feed the patient animal some bananas.

The elephant, named Chirakkal Kalidasan, is one of the best known trained elephants in India.

It was recently featured in the blockbuster movie 'Baahubali,' which was a hit in multiple Indian languages.

On October 23, the elephant’s mahut Sarath Mambi received a visitor, whose two-year-old son wanted to pet the elephant and give it a treat.

At over 11 feet, Kalidasan is one of the tallest elephants in India, while the boy was only just over two-feet tall, but did not let the behemoth intimidate him.

Both Kalidasan and Sarath readily indulged the boy, who bravely offered bunches of bananas, to the eagerly waiting trunk of the elephant.

The gentle elephant made no attempt to pick up a few bananas which fell the ground, instead patiently waiting for the boy to pick them up and hand them over.

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Odisha: Kumki elephant tramples man to death


Angul (Odisha) [India], Nov 9 (ANI): A 49-year-old man was trampled to death by an
elephant while trying to feed it despite a serious warning by the forest staff in

Odisha's Angul District on Thursday.

The Kumki elephant "JOSHODA" was tied after her bath for the Mahouts to feed it.

At about 11.45 am, the man identified as Sudur Padhan from Matiasahi village went
to feed a banana plant to the elephant on his own instead of serious warning not to
go to the elephant by the Mahout and forest staff.

While he was feeding the banana plant to the elephant, it pulled him along with the
banana plant and trampled him to death.

A compensatory amount of Rs. 4 lakhs has sanctioned for the kith and kin of the
victim along with ex gratia of Rs. 40,000. (ANI)

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Human-animal conflict is clear & present danger, and India can’t afford to ignore it


Increasing human and animal population, shrinking forests etc. have made the conflict inevitable. But it’s not as though there are no solutions.

New Delhi: Killings, retaliatory killings, battles for territory, battles for survival.

We aren’t talking about a political battleground, we are referring to a deadly conflict between human beings and animals in India, which has the potential to turn into a full-blown war. And what’s more, the government has only just begun to take note.

Last week, when six-year old tigress Avni, accused of killing 13 human beings, was shot dead by a private hunter’s son in the Pandharkawada region of Maharashtra, there was an outpouring of grief, anger, and protests from several quarters.

Is retaliation the only answer to human-animal conflict? As the human population grows, forest cover shrinks, and humans and animals begin to compete and jostle for the same, limited resources, do we have the necessary wherewithal to contain the problem?

Just a day after Avni was killed, another tigress in Uttar Pradesh was run over and beaten to death by angry villagers after she mauled a 50-year-old man. On the same day, a leopard snuck into the Gujarat secretariat and the sprawling complex had to be cordoned off.

A week before that, seven elephants died of electrocution in Odisha — a state often known as a “graveyard” for elephants. An adult female elephant was deliberately electrocuted in the state’s Rourkela forest division for frequently damaging crops in the area. The killing was labelled a “revenge killing” — an increasingly common phenomenon as human-animal conflict gradually becomes the order of the day.

According to the Environment Ministry, 1,608 human beings were killed between 2014 and 2017 due to this conflict — an average of more than one human being every day.

Of these, most lives are claimed by tigers, elephants, snakes, leopards and bears.

There is no government data on the deaths of animals due to human-animal conflict.

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Pet elephant Jasoda kills a tribal when offered banana plant


Angul, Nov 8 (UNI) Pet elephant Jasoda from Chandaka Wildlife sanctuary, requisitioned
by Satkoshia Tigher Reserve to help capture tigress Sundari, had killed one 45 year old
tribal man near Purunakote range office today.

The tranquilization of the tigress Sundari was conducted with the help of Jasoda on
Tuesday and after that the elephant was housed at the Purunakote range office premises.

Today morning mahut took it to a nearby jungle for feeding bamboo leaves. He left
the place leaving the animal there but alerted the villagers not to venture near to her.

At about 12 noon one villager Sudhir Padhan, a tribal collected a banana plant and went
near to the elephant to feed her without knowing that the elephant will be so violent .

The pet elephant caught him and crushed on the ground killing him on the spot.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Satkosia Rama Samy described the incident as most
unfortunate.

He confirmed that the man was killed when he went near to the elephant to feed the
banana plant. A sum of Rs 4 lakh is being given to the next kin of the deceased besides,
the forest department has released Rs, 40,000 for funeral expenses.

Soon after the mishap the mahut brought pet elephant Jasoda the range office where
she was staying and left the place apprehending attack from the villagers who were
peeved over the incident

The elephant experts are in confusion as to why Jasoda turned so violent being a pet
animal.

Some claimed that she was over utilized by forest department since she was brought
from Chandka to Satkosia on Saturday last .

She had almost travelled about 100 kms in these three to four days in satkosia forest
before the tigress was tranquilized.

Another expert also opine that she was feeling loneliness in satkosia without her partner
and which might have disturbed her mentally.

Meanwhile, tigress Sundari which has killed two men after it was translocated inside the
satkoshia Tiger Reserve for increasing the tiger population, is stated to be in good health
in the enclosure at Raigoda.

The forest officials are constantly monitoring her all movements and behavior and
found all the parameters are stable and normal.

Sources said the tigress will stay inside the special enclosure till a final decision is taken
as to whether it would be sent back to Madhya Pradesh from where it had come or housed
inside the Nandankanan Zoo as proposed by the forest officials.
UNI XC DP BM

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Ten railway staff awarded for exceptional devotion towards duty


Rajeev Kumar, Electrical Signal Maintainer under Katihar Division; Ramesh Kumar, Gateman under Katihar Division; Kanchan Chakraborty, Driver under Alipurduar Division; Immanuel Dcruz, Asst Driver under Katihar Division; Mineswar Bora, Driver under Rangiya Division; Ratan Chandra Mondal, Sr. Tech under Katihar Division; Md. Arif, Technician -II under Katihar Division; Subhash Kumar, Gateman under Katihar Division; Biswajit Chanda, Driver under Lumding Division and Barun Das, Asst. Driver under Lumding Division were awarded by Sanjive Roy, General Manager, N.F. Railway during a function held in Guwahati on Thursday.

NF Railway CPRO Pranav Jyoti Sarma said that Rajeev Kumar, Electrical Signal Maintainer, while performing maintenance duty on Sept 1, detected rail fracture at KM 18/5-6 near Pranpur Road station.

At the same time, a goods train was approaching on that line. He immediately informed Station Master of Pranpur Road to control the train.

Ramesh Kumar, Gateman, while performing duty at Gate no. EB – 38 on Sept 13, noticed unusual sound and sparking in one coach of train No.13162 Dn Tebhaga Express. The train was stopped and on checking flat tyre was detected.

The affected coach was detached at Buniadpur station.

Kanchan Chakraborty, Driver and Immanuel Dcruz, Asst Driver, while working on Sept 14 by train no. 13247 Dn Capital Express between Sivok and Gulma stations, suddenly noticed one big tree fallen on the track at KM 20/1. They immediately applied emergency brake and managed to stop the train.

Mineswar Bora, Driver, while working train 55713 Up on Sept 14, detected defective Axle box of Loco No.40090 WDP4 at Kaithalkuchi station. He declared the loco failed to run. Finally, wheel of the said loco was replaced by staff from Siliguri diesel Shed.

Ratan Chandra Mandal, Sr. Tech and Md. Arif, Technician - II, while performing Rolling In and Out duty on Sept 23, detected unusual sound in coach No.14424 NFGS of train No.15905 Up Kanyakumari – Dibrugarh Express. The train was meticulously checked up and detected that rear RHS Hanger Pin of rear trolley was missing. The same was replaced.

Subhash Kumar, Gateman, while performing duty on Sept 29 at Gate no. NC 109(T), noticed unusual sound coming from train No – 55769 Malda – Katihar passenger. He immediately informed duty Station Master of Eklakhi station. On checking, heavy brake binding was detected.

Biswajit Chanda, Driver and Shri Barun Das, Asst. Driver, while working 55615 Up Guwahati – Silchar Fast Passenger on Oct 6, noticed wild elephants crossing railway track in between Hawaipur and Lamsakhang stations at about 4.27 am.

On noticing elephants, they immediately applied the emergency brake and somehow managed to stop the train near the herd of elephant. Due to their devotion and alertness, they managed to save the elephants.

In recognition of their meritorious service for preventing accident, all of them were awarded with a cash award of Rs. 2, 500 each along with a certificate by General Manager, N.F. Railway.

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Jumbo sensors to check track deaths

Sensors designed by IIT Delhi to help track the movement of elephants near railway tracks and minimise chances of accidents will be among the talking points of a wildlife conference to be held in north Bengal’s Chalsa on November 16 and 17.

The conference is aimed at finding ways to use technology to prevent the death of wild animals on railway tracks and mitigate man-animal conflicts.

“When fitted to railway tracks, the sensors would track visuals, movement, sound, lights and other parameters before corroborating the inputs and feeding them into an automated algorithm,” said Subrat Kar, professor of electrical engineering at IIT Delhi.

“The algorithm would then decide if an elephant or a herd was near the tracks. A message would be sent to the nearest station master and the driver of trains about to pass through the area,” said Kar, who will explain how the sensors work at the conference.

The conference is being organised by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Bengal forest department. Raman Sukumar, elephant expert and professor at IISc, will be present along with representatives of railways, the Wildlife Institute of India, NGOs and local communities.

The conference will also be attended by representatives of the Ear to the Wild Foundation, which promotes wildlife conservation through technology. The foundation is slated to give a presentation on acoustic sensors that can detect social calls produced by elephants.

In 2013, the ministry of environment and forests had proposed the use of technology after a nudge from the Supreme Court, which was hearing a PIL to curb elephant deaths on tracks and by electrocution. The project began at IIT Delhi after that.

A pilot project to test the sensors is underway at the Rajaji National Park near Dehradun.

The railway tracks between Siliguri and Alipurduar, stretching close to 165km, have seen more than 60 elephants being killed by trains since 2004, said Animesh Bose of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation.

The tracks pass through several forest areas, including the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. Almost the entire stretch is accident-prone for elephants.

“The most number of deaths have been caused by freight trains. In the past, deaths have also been reported from non-forested areas such as tea gardens and railway bridges,” Bose said.

The apex court earlier asked the railways to reduce the speed of trains running through elephant corridors. But railway officials have complained that reduction in speed affects punctuality of trains. “It also has a cost implication, which is why we don’t depend on a single indicator that can make a mistake. The idea is to be sure about the presence of elephants before relaying the message to the railways” said Kar of IIT Delhi.

Ravi Kant Sinha, the chief wildlife warden of the state, said the sensors will be have to be field-tested to check their efficiency. “Technology is readily available but the challenge is to calibrate them,” he said. Similar sensors have been designed in the past but have failed the calibration tests, he said.

Sinha said whether the sensors would be installed in north Bengal only if it was suitable to the needs.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Conflict on rise as animal space shrinks | india news


Avni and Sundari may have made the headlines. Many others make just the footnotes. Over the past two months, India has witnessed dramatic instances of human...

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Woman injured in elephant attack


Nagaon (Assam), Nov 6 (PTI) A woman was seriously injured when an elephant attacked her in central Assam’s Nagaon district last night, police sources said Tuesday.

The incident occurred at Kekurchuk area near Samguri when a herd of wild elephants destroyed residential houses, including that of the woman, and cropland of that area, the sources said.

The woman was identified as Nizu Bora and she has been admitted to the BP Civil hospital in Nagaon town, they said.

Forest Department personnel are attempting to drive away the elephants back into the forests, the sources added.

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Uttar Pradesh: Villagers who beat tigress to death also attacked elephant, mahout; FIR lodged


A DAY after residents of Chaltau village allegedly beat a 10-year-old tigress to death after running a tractor over her in the Dudhwa forest reserve, an FIR was registered at Sehramau North police station of Pilibhit district Monday.

The six named and various unidentified accused were booked under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, as well as various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The villagers attacked the tigress on Sunday evening after she allegedly injured a local youth, who officials said was trespassing on forest area at his own risk. The youth had later succumbed to his injuries.

The identified accused are village residents Babloo, Mukesh, Lal Bahadur, Chauthi, Subhash and Om Prakash. No arrests have been made so far.

In his complaint, Mailani range forest guard Mohan Ram alleged that on Sunday evening, some villagers entered Kishanpur range area with sticks and sharp objects, located the tigress and attacked her.

“They took our tractor and ran it over her. After that, they surrounded her and beat her to death. They also attacked an elephant kept in the village for patrolling, its mahout and other forest department officials. They manhandled the mahout and the officials and held them hostage before more officials came and freed them…,” Mohan stated in his complaint.

“On Monday morning, I received a call from Pilibhit MP Maneka Gandhi. She said locals of Chaltua village have killed a tigress and the police needs to identify those involved in the killing and take strict action against them. I immediately called the Sehramau North station house officer (SHO) Atar Singh and directed him to register an FIR as soon as the forest department files a complaint. I also asked him to identify those on the tractor and immediately send them to jail,” said Pilibhit Superintendent of Police (SP) Balendu Bhushan Singh.

Pilibhit SP (City) Rohit Mishra said they are investigating the case and have received video footage of the incident, adding that arrests will be made soon.

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Monday, November 05, 2018

UP: Forest dept tries to save owls on Diwali, elephants and helicopters are deployed to protect them


It has never happened before that the forest department in Uttar Pradesh has deployed not only its patrolling teams but also four elephants to keep a watch over owls to save them from tantrik rituals

The world has reached the moon and our government officials are still deploying elephants to safeguard owls. The information was confirmed that the forest department officials of the Kalagadh range in Bijnor are working day and night to save owls from the tantriksA high alert has been issued in the forests of Corbett tiger reserve on the occasion of Diwali. According to the Deputy Director of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Amit Verma, this was done to save the lives of owls and for this reason the employees' leaves have been canceled.Half a dozen teams of patrolling have been deployed for this task. According to DFO Atul Kumar Tripathi, it has been done on the orders of high-level officials as there is a danger to the life of this bird on Deepawali. The region will not only be patrolled by vehicles but the officials will also be using helicopters for an overhead view to keep a watch over these birds.Officials have declared the Uttar Pradesh border area as a sensitive zone. According to the District Forest Officer Tripathi, special protection is being given to the forests of Adanala, Plain and Medavan range on the northern border of the state. Four elephants are also being deployed for patrolling the area. It has never happened before.The Chief Conservator has issued an order in this regard. In fact, around Diwali, the tantric ritual being performed with owl blood is always talked about and tantriks are always looking for owls for this purpose. All this exercise is being done to save owls from the tantriks.
According to Anil Chaudhary, an animal-loving resident of Bijnor, it is a matter of great concern that so much efforts is being invested in saving the lives of owls which are already on the verge of extinction. Obviously, there is still no improvement in the social awareness, people are still stuck in superstitious beliefs and black magic rituals. Sacrificing an animal for such rituals is a sign of barbarity. Unfortunately, people still have faith in such regressive and useless rituals and the tantriks conducting these rituals.World Wildlife Fund has recently released an Advisory in which an appeal has been made to the people of the country to protect these owls from Tantriks on Diwali. WWF has said that owls are fast becoming extinct in India whereas hundreds of people are being caught trading owls or owl parts illegally. According to experts, there are more than 200 species of owls in the world, out of which 30 are found in India. The website of an organisation called Traffic India has shared this information too.According to Saket, a member of Traffic India, people start sacrificing owls from Dussehra. During Diwali maximum number of owl sacrifices are made. The owl is a protected bird under the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972. Owls are on the verge of extinction. Rock Owl, Brown Fish, Wood Owl, and Motel Owl are some of the species of owl which are found in India.Illegal trading of owls are carried out on a wider scale in the Kumhar mohalla of Meerut. On the condition of anonymity, a businessman says that owls are being sold on a rate of ₹10,000 and the price can be as high as ₹1 lakh.

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Saving baby elephants in India | DW English


Injured and orphaned elephants are nurtured in an Indian wildlife center in Assam. Flooding is common in Assam, and many animals fleeing the rising waters are injured every rainy season. The Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in the Indian state nurtures them back to health.

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Odisha fast turning into graveyard for elephants

The death of seven elephants on October 27 at Kamalanga in Dhenkanal district of Odisha due to electrocution has allegedly exposed the state government’s apathy and inaction to ensure safe habitats for the big mammals.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha, the eastern Indian province whose rulers in the past were known as the Gajapati Maharajas or rulers of the elephants, is no longer a safe place for the jumbo animals. It was the state which boasted of having the countrys highest number of pachyderms.

Manmade disasters coupled with the state governments inaction have rendered the state a deadly graveyard for the elephants.

Since May 2017, 121 wild elephants have died. Of them, 25 were electrocuted either by sagging power lines or hooking of live wires by poachers.

The death of seven elephants at Kamalanga in Dhenkanal district on October 27 has exposed the state governments “apathy” and “inaction” to ensure safe habitats for the big mammals. This mass electrocution, said to the biggest-ever electrocution tragedy in India, has shaken the wildlife lovers and conservationists across the world.

In fact, the National Green Tribunal has taken the Kamalanga incident seriously and slapped a suo motu case against the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) of Odisha. Besides, it has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on the power distribution company for its alleged negligence that led to the death of seven elephants.

Wildlife activists have blamed the present forest and environment minister Bijayashree Routray for the tragedy and registered their protest at the office of the chief minister.

“Our state Odisha, known for its magnificent elephants, has turned into a graveyard for elephants. We wish to record our disappointment over the worrying performance of the current minister. Since May 2017 when he (minister Bijayshree Routray) took over charge, we are dismayed to note that 121 wild elephants have died. In a similar incident on the June 9, 2017, bodies of three electrocuted elephants were recovered in decomposed conditions near Borapada in Dhenkanal district,” Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of Wildlife Society of Odisha, wrote to chief minister Naveen Patnaik. 

There are hundreds of sagging electric line points where a similar tragedy is imminent.

In a ghastly incident on April 16 this year, four elephants were mowed down by a train near Telidihi in Jharsuguda district due to poor coordination. No enquiry was conducted to ascertain the role of the local divisional forest officer (DFO), but lower level forest staff members were suspended.

Earlier on July 29, 2917, a train had killed an elephant in Sundargarh district followed by one more case of an elephant hit by a train in Dhenkanal on April 21 this year.

“Had the minister taken up this matter seriously, these elephants would be alive today,” said Mr Mohanty. 

Wildlife protection activists find lack of coordination between the forest officials and the railways to check accidental deaths of the elephants. 

Another shocking fact is that the poaching of adult male elephants for ivory continues unabated in Odisha with nothing being done to check the poachers.

In the last 18 months, hunters have allegedly poached nine adult males.

In February 2018, in quick succession, two adult male elephants were found with their tusks hacked off by poachers in the Badamba range of Athagarh division. On October 17, another adult male died in the adjoining Narsinghpur East range.

In December 2017, two professional elephant poachers from Arunachal Pradesh were apprehended in Keonjhar, but there has been no headway in the investigation to uncover the network. Odisha has lost 28 adult male elephants during the tenure of this minister which is a huge loss considering the fact that these were breeding males.

Open wells continue to be a threat to elephants and other wildlife. Since May 2017, 44 wild animals have fallen into open wells. There were 15 elephants among them, of which four died.

Human-elephant conflict has also gone up sharply in the last 18 months. As many as 141 men and women were killed and 102 injured in this turmoil.

During 2017-18, Odisha recorded the unfortunate death of 84 humans, the highest till date. For the last seven months, 57 persons have died and 53 have been injured.

The disbursement of compassionate payments for crop damage has continued to be woeful despite the Odisha Right to Services Act of 2012.

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Sunday, November 04, 2018

2 elephants electrocuted in Nagaland


Kohima, Nov 04 (UNI) Two elephants, a mother and calf, were found dead around Sanis village
area, about 3.5 km from Sanis Zero Point towards Baghty.

The elephant and her calf were electrocuted by the 132 KV National Power Grid transmission
line in last month.

According to a press statement issued by the Divisional Forest Officer of Wokha Zuthunglo

Patton today stated that on receiving information from the villagers, the higher authorities were
intimated and wildlife staff with the district administration, police, power department, Sanis

Village Council, NGOs and villagers jointly verified the incident on the spot after the elephants
were electrocuted on October 24.

After necessary verification by the veterinary doctor, the carcasses were disposed of properly by
the Forest department in the presence of EAC Sanis, SDO Electrical, Sanis Police, Sanis Village

Council, NGOs and villagers.

A report of this has been submitted to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Nagaland, for further
necessary action.

The Forest Department also thanked all involved for the excellent coordination and the help they
gave during this unfortunate incident. It further appealed to the National Power Grid as well as
the Nagaland Department of Power to look into the matter of low hanging transmission lines in
these areas which are also elephant corridors so as to avoid any more hazards in future, it said.
UNI AS RN

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Elephant Josodha arrives Satkoshia forest to help capture of Tigress Sundari


Angul, Nov 4 (UNI) After unsuccessful bid to tranqualise tigress sundari, the Satkoshoa Tiger

Reserve (STR) authority finally decided to press elephant Josodha in the mission to capture the
man eater which has so far killed two persons.

The step was taken by the STR authorizes after tranquilization teams from the state and Madhya

Pradesh were unsuccessful in capturing the elusive tigress in satkosia jungle.

The elephant brought from Chandaka Elephant sanctuary has been lodged at the forest range
office of Purunakote after her arrival.

Her mental and physical conditions are being monitored with the change of the climate. One
doctor and her mahut also accompanied along with others.

Forest officials said, after the arrival of the renowned wildlife scientist K Ramesh from Deradhun
the operation to capture the tigress will commence.

According to DFO of satkosia wildlife division Rama Samy, “The elephant was allowed to take
rest on Saturday and her health condition was checked by doctor.

If all goes well then she will be engaged today in the tranquilization process at Purunakote jungle
where the tigress camps right now from Baghmunda jungle.

“We are hopeful that with the help of the elephant the teams will reach at the tigress in
Purunakote jungle and will carry out their mission. We have kept the enclosure ready at Raigoda
for the shifting of the tigress.
MORE UNI XC-DP AKM

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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Odisha: Three arrested for Dhenkanal elephant electrocution


Three employees of Forest and Environment departments were arrested by Crime Branch police on Saturday in connection with the electrocution of seven elephants in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district recently.

The elephants had died after coming in contact with a live high voltage wire near Kamalanga village under the Sadar Forest Range on October 27.

Those arrested are Junior Engineer of Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU), Sanjay Mohanty, forester of Meramandali section Pravakar Rana and forest guard of Meramandali forest beat house Girish Chandra Dehury, a senior police official said.

While Mohanty had earlier been dismissed from service, Rana and Dehury were placed under suspension in connection with the incident.

The Crime Branch of police has been investigating into the incident after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on October 28 issued an order in this regard. The chief minister has also ordered for appropriate action in case of any criminal negligence,

As the tragedy evoked sharp criticism from various quarters, both energy and forest departments took action against seven officials in connection with the incident.

A general manager, one sub-divisional Officer (SDO) and a lineman of CESU were placed under suspension, while JE Sanjay Mohanty was sacked, an official said.

Similarly, a forest range officer, a forester and a forest guard were suspended over the incident, he said.

Additional Conservator of Forest (ACF) Jitendranath Das had lodged a complaint at Kantabania police station in connection with the incident. The Wildlife Cell of Crime Branch also registered a case.

The mishap happened apparently because of sagging electric wire. As per guidelines, the 11 KV electric line wire must be pulled at a height of 17-18 feet above the ground, he said.

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Supreme Court makes trunk call to count captive elephants


In a bid to protect captive elephants and ensure that they are not tortured and overworked, the Supreme Court on Thursday made it mandatory for all states to carry out a survey of captive pachyderms.

The SC wants the survey to be completed before December 31, 2018. It said that owners need to have a certificate to retain the elephants.

The court issued these instructions on a petition filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre seeking protection of elephants and implementation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act 1960. Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi claimed that the elephant population in India has dwindled to 26,000. Out of these, 3,500 are in captivity.

The states will have to submit a report to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change before the second week of January 2019 when the case is listed for next the hearing.

Elephant rides are a big hit among tourists, at Amber Fort in Rajasthan and Kerala. The government authorised jumbo rides are included on the roster for domestic and international visitors.

The Supreme Court has directed Chief Wild Life Warden of every state to "ascertain and identify" elephants in captivity.

The court has also directed the wardens to ensure the owners of captive elephants have ownership certificate. If they do not, then same may be granted provisionally.

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had claimed that none of the elephants ferrying tourists at Amber Fort, Rajasthan are registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).

In September, the Rajasthan High Court had issued notices to Rajasthan on how elephant rides were being allowed without registration. In another case, animal activist Gauri Maulekhi cited an AWBI report claiming that 10 of the 102 elephants lodged at Elephant Village, Amber, were suffering from tuberculosis. Nineteen elephants were also found to be blind.

Jumbo Facts

26,000 is the elephant population in India

3,500 elephants are in captivity

10 of the 102 elephants lodged at Elephant Village in Amber suffer from tuberculosis; 19 elephants are blind (AWBI report)

Elephant rides are major tourist attractions in Rajasthan and Kerala

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Friday, November 02, 2018

Two wild elephants radio collared in Hassan district


Hassan, Karnataka, Nov 2 (UNI) In order to monitor the movement of wild elephants in Hassan
district the forest department has radio collared for two female elephants during the last 24
hours.

Forest officials said an elephant was radio collared near Magalu village and the other pachyderm
was successfully sedated and the collars were put on it near Rajendrapura last evening.

The department has also got permission to capture two tuskers.

“With the help of the radio collar, we have been able to track the movement of the elephant
herds using a mobile application,” said Sivaram Babu, Deputy Conservator of Forests.

The officers began the operation identified another female elephant. The staff succeeded in
separating the animal with the help of tame elephants and tranquilised it.

Meanwhile, local people wanted officers to capture a problematic tusker spotted in the same
locality. However, the officers stated that they would capture the animal later. “The elephant was
in ‘must’. We could not take up the operation. We will resume the operation tomorrow. We have
to attach collars to two more elephants and capture two tuskers,” he said.

A team of three veterinarians, Mujeeb Rahman, Murali and Vinay, are assisting the officers in
the operation.
UNI BSP RS HVB1410

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Young elephant climbs out of 35-feet well after dramatic rescue


A young elephant became trapped alone overnight (November 1) in a ground well in eastern India and was released after an extensive rescue effort. The eight-year-old elephant had spent the night in the 35-feet deep well in Dhenkanal district of Odisha, India, after falling into it accidentally. People of the Pohala village woke up on the night of November 1 to the distressed trumpeting of the elephant. A 10-member elephant herd was passing through in the vicinity when the young male had...

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NGT forms team to probe jumbo deaths


New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a team to probe the death of seven elephants which were electrocuted after coming in contact with a livewire near Kamalanga village in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, constituted a team comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, director of Project Elephant and Chief Wildlife Warden of Odisha.

The team will visit the site and suggest measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future, due to electrocution or other causes which can be applicable to wildlife areas in the entire country, the NGT said.

“The representative of MoEF will be the coordinator. The visit may be undertaken within two weeks from today,” the bench, also comprising Justice SP Wangdi, said in its October 30 order.

The green panel had directed the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) to deposit Rs 1 crore with the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state within a week and asked it to submit its stand in the case to the MoEF.

The tribunal said the incident ‘prima facie’ shows apathy to the wildlife by CESU as 42 elephants have died of electrocution due to sagging livewires and at least 18 were killed in Dhenkanal division since April 2010 as per a news report.

It appointed advocate Amit A Pai to assist the tribunal in the matter and posted the matter for consideration of the report December 20.

The tribunal passed the order after taking note of the news report. The article said that according to the forest department, electrocution occurred on account of negligence of CESU.

Seven elephants were electrocuted after coming in contact with a livewire near Kamalanga village October 27.

A herd of 13 jumbos was passing through the village in Sadar forest range and seven of them came in contact with the 11-KV wire.

The carcasses of the pachyderms, including a tusker and five females, were spotted in the morning by villagers who informed forest officials.

While three carcasses were lying on a road, four others were inside a canal. The incident happened apparently because of sagging electric wire, the forest officials said.

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Thrissur: SC notice on jumbo race


Thrissur: The Supreme Court has ordered to send legal notice to the Guruvayur Devaswom managing committee based on a petition to ban the annual elephant race at Guruvayur temple.

The petition was filed by the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) in Bangalore on the basis of another petition pending before the SC citing the alleged atrocities meted out to captive elephants in 12 states in India.

“The petition to ban the annual jumbo race was filed several months ago and the SC took it up for hearing on Thursday. The WRRC counsel told the court about the torture suffered by the pachyderms during the race and said the show was held as an entertainment for the crowd,” Suparna Ganguly, WRRC chairperson, said.

Ten among the elephants of the devaswom are selected by the veterinary doctors of the GD to take part in the ‘Aanayottam’ of which five are selected through a draw to run the 500-metre race from Manjulal to the eastern entrance tower of the temple. Suparna Ganguly was earlier assigned by the Animal Welfare Board of India to file a report on the plight of nearly 50 elephants owned by GD at its elephant sanctuary near Punnathur Kotta, three km from the temple.

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Dasara elephant, guards escape electrocution


MYSURU: Dasara elephant Gopalaswamy had a narrow escape from
being electrocuted as the truck ferrying him rammed an electric pole on

Tuesday night. Though the electric wire fell on him and the truck, the fuse
blew out, cutting off power supply, and averted a major tragedy.

The incident occurred at 10pm in Kolavige, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve.

Gopalaswamy and two other elephants from Mathigodu camp were being
ferried in separate trucks to Sakleshpur, Hassan, to capture a wild tusker.

The elephants were accompanied by their mahouts and kavadis in the
trucks. Deputy conservator of forest (wildlife) Siddaramappa told TOI that
that animals were transported at night to avoid traffic and heat.

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Jumbo havoc in Purulia


A herd of 20-25 wild elephants that has strayed into the Ayodhya foothills in Purulia have been destroying crops in six villages for the past one week.

The elephants from Odisa and the Dalma range in Jharkhand have injured a villager, destroyed paddy across 10 hectares and damaged a dozen mud houses.

But as the elephants create havoc in the villages, tourists are excited and plan to see the jumbos.

Forest officials in Purulia said the elephants had split in small groups and were entering human habitats after sunset to feed on paddy that was almost mature for harvesting, and also vegetables from the fields.

Forest officials said it was tough to locate the elephants and chase them back to the Dalma range as the villages they were entering were inside thick forests. That the jumbos come at night and are splitting into small groups are not helping either.

“We are chasing the elephants back to the forest with the help of hula parties (groups of villagers trained to drive away wild elephants), but they are again entering the villages. The area is surrounded by large swathes of forests and hills, which are providing cover to the elephants,” said Dulal Chandra Bauri, the beat officer of the Matha forest range in Baghmundi.

The villagers said they were avoiding going out of home after sunset for fear of the elephants. Traders at Baghmundi are closing their shops before dusk and the villages wear a deserted look after sundown.

The villagers said they were spending sleepless nights fearing that the elephants might attack them anytime.

Parikhit Mahato, 60, who was injured in the elephant attack, has been admitted to a local hospital. One of the elephants lifted him with its trunk when he was returning from the forest after collecting dry logs and hurled him to the ground.

Forest officials said Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Birbhum, West Midnapore and East and West Burdwan — with large swathes of forests and rivers flowing through them — are part of the corridor elephants from Odisha and the Dalma range use. For the past few years elephants have been regularly straying into human habitats.

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