Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Elephant kills two in tea garden in Alipurduar



Alipurduar (WB), Jun 23 An elephant trampled to death two persons at Gaerkata tea garden at Dhupguri in Alipurduar district, the police said today.

The incident happened when a herd of elephants was going to Marahat forest through the tea garden and one pachyderm killed a man and a woman yesterday.

As others raised an alarm and many people rushed to the spot, the elephants hurriedly entered the forest.

While the man was identified as a tea garden worker, the identity of the woman yet to be ascertained, the police said.


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Elephant attacks van in Mangaluru, 7 injured



Seven persons were injured after an elephant attacked their vehicle on a state highway in Dakshina Kannada district early Saturday, the police said. The jumbo ran towards the vehicle and attacked it with its trunk. The incident was reported from Bilinele on the Uppinangady-Subramanya highway. The condition of one of the injured is stated to be critical.


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Tuskers’ fight cause of elephant death, hunt on for ‘killer’


BIJNOR: A day after a decomposed carcass of an seven-year-old male elephant was discovered from Rajgarh elephant reserve in Bijnor's Najibabad forest division, its post-mortem conducted by experts from Wildlife Institute of India, Lucknow and Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly revealed that it sustained wounds in a fight with another tusker and bled profusely.

A hunt is now on to find the other tusker to prevent similar incidents. Rajgarh is connected with both Rajaji and Corbett National Parks in neighbouring Uttarakhand.

Najibabad’s divisional forest officer Udayveer Singh said, “The young elephant was attacked by a mature elephant having sharp tusks while the dead elephant’s tusks were small and blunt.”

According to official sources, post-mortem report said the dead elephant’s bone above its tail was found fractured and there were injury marks caused by another elephant’s tusks on its body.


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Assam: Wild elephants go on rampage in Baksa villages



A herd of wild elephants went on a rampage and left behind a trail of destruction at Nagrijuli area in Baksa district of Assam on Wednesday night. The wild tuskers created terror at several villages falling under the Nagrijuli Development Block in the said district.

It is reported that elephant habitats are shrinking along the Indo-Bhutan border due to continuous human encroachment thus forcing them to come out of their natural habitats in search of food and, in the process, triggering conflict with the locals.

The said group of wild elephants entered Nagrijuli Tea Estate on Wednesday night and sat along the bank of Bornadi River. In search of food, the marauding tuskers entered Line No 6 and 8 of Nagrijuli Tea Estate and crushed the houses of Birshi Munda, Apurba Dundi, Amrit Bagh, Albish and Dilkumar. Another herd of wild pachyderms entered the nearby Dongargao village and smashed the houses of Uttam Biswas and Gudum Munda and broke the shops of Santosh Rai and Boistav Rai.

The marauding tuskers ate whatever food was left inside the houses and the shops and caused huge loss of property. The helpless villagers tried their best to chase away the wild elephants, but in vain. The villagers as well as the labourers of Nagrijuli Tea Estate stayed awake the whole night till the group of wild elephants left for the jungles at dawn.

The villagers have demanded that the State Government and the concerned authorities should take necessary steps to stop human-elephant conflict but, wildlife activists say that human encroachment in the forests of Northeast India have forced elephants out of their habitats thus triggering the said situation. Elephants rampage through villages in search of food as their habitats are being overtaken by people, say conservationists.


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Close shave for passengers as female elephant attacks KSRTC bus near Bandipur

In a shocking incident, a female elephant attacked a KSRTC bus, in which 60 passengers were travelling. The elephant came raging towards the bus and rammed its tusks inside. The KSRTC bus driver honked repeatedly to scare the tusker away. The female elephant panicked and walked away into the forests. All 60 passengers miraculously escaped without any injuries.
Haridwar: A 35-year-old female elephant was run over by a sp ..


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Another jumbo dies on track


Elephants’ death on the railway tracks continuing, another died on Haridwar-Dehradun tracks near Motichur forest range just four kms ahead of Raiwala junction on Tuesday, the fourth such death over the past one and half year. It is learnt that female elephant aged around 34 years was mowed down by speeding Kathgodam Express around midnight. The forest officers claimed that they had warned the loco pilot of the jumbo movement around the tracks and asked him to bring down the speed of the train sufficiently, a warning which the loco pilot refused to heed. However, the wild life lovers rejected such claims, saying that it was nothing but the long-continuing pass the buck game.

It is further learnt that a team of doctors was rushed to the spot where the jumbo was lying injured immediately after the incident, but it succumbed around 5 am.

Quizzed over continuation of such on the track deaths of the elephants, the principal chief conservator of forests, Uttarakhand, Jai Raj termed the death very unfortunate. “We are all deeply sad and an emergency meeting has been called on Wednesday where the officers of Wildlife Institute of India would be present. We would discuss things threadbare and a strategy would be chalked out to stop recurrence of such unfortunate deaths. We would find out whether forest patrolling is continuing and whether there is a breach in our , coordination with the railway officials,” he said.


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Gentle giants suffer for tourists in Goa



Montora, a docile Indian elephant, enters the small, muddy brown lake. She rolls about, letting the water slide on her back. Her mahout shouts out to her in Bengali. His tone is sharp, commanding. She stops moving. Two young women enter the water and mount her back. The mahout stands in front of the elephant and gives sharp commands. Montora scoops water in her trunk and on command, lets it out on the women. They squeal in delight. Onlookers, mostly tourists from Russia and the United Kingdom, laugh and take pictures. Montora repeats the “power shower” several times on command.

Montora’s toenails are black, cracked and split with fissures. One nail is missing. There is heavy pink pigmentation on her trunk and ears and a small wound on her left ear. Her eyes are misty, with a continuous discharge. She wears a chain around her neck with a bell on it. She is 46 years old, docile and well mannered. Local staff say she works approximately 12 hours a day and on a “good day”, at least a 100 people visit.


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Snubbing ivory art won’t save elephants, says British Museum chief



The British Museum has accepted the donation of hundreds of ivory antiques, arguing that refusal “would not save an elephant’s life today”.

Hartwig Fischer, the museum’s director, defended the decision to accept more than 500 Chinese ivories collected about a century ago by Sir Victor Sassoon, a businessman.

Mr Fischer said that the objects were “artefacts of high cultural value that need to be preserved, not destroyed”.

“You can think of many cultures in India, China, Europe, Byzantium where ivory has played an important role to shape belief and social practices and yet we would never buy modern ivory,” he said. “That is totally out of the question.”



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Four held with elephant ivory in West Bengal



Four held with elephant ivory in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Officers of Belakoba forest range seized elephant ivory and arrested four persons including a civil engineer on June 24. The plan was to smuggle the elephants ivory to Nepal.


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Safety glow on jumbo corridors



Jamshedpur: Several stret-ches of Chakradharpur railway division that are part of or close to migratory corridors of elephants will have watchtowers and solar lights to prevent fatal accidents.

Spokesperson for South Eastern Railway's Chakradharpur division Bhaskar said they would soon convene a meeting with the state forest authorities to chalk out details.

"We have identified some vulnerable points along Sini-Chakradharpur, Posaita-Manoharpur and Chaibasa-Barbil, and near Jharsuguda (in Odisha). Elephant deaths have recently taken place in Posaita and Jharsuguda. We plan to set up watchtowers and illuminate jumbo corridor intersections with solar lights to check animal casualties," he told this newspaper.

As many as 18 elephant deaths have been reported on tracks in Chakradharpur division alone in the past 12 years.

On April 16, a freight train hurtling down Bagdihi forest range in Jharsuguda on Jharkhand-Odisha border had barreled into a herd of elephants, killing a calf and three adults.

Experts said the train was traveling at 75 miles an hour (around 120kmph) in a protected stretch of forest. Concerned, the railway authorities quickly imposed a speed limit of 40kmph on all trains on the route.

A senior official at Garden Reach, the headquarters of South Eastern Railway (SER) in Calcutta, said it had also been made mandatory to blow long whistles while passing through vulnerable stretches.

"We have urged for better co-ordination with forest depa-rtment of respective states to pr-event elephant deaths on tra-cks," said Sanjay Ghosh, chief public relations officer, SER.




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Female elephant run over by train while crossing tracks in Uttarakhand



A female elephant was found dead in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand on Tuesday after being run over by a train, a forest official said.

Officials told IANS that a group of 17 elephants was crossing the rail tracks when the high-speed Dehradun-Kathgodam Express was passing by.

While foresters tried to alert the driver, he did not slow down the train, resulting in the death of the elephant.

Drivers of trains are expected to slow down while passing through the national park. But elephants continue to be hit and killed by trains.

The management of the forest reserve said a case will be filed against the train driver.


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Elephants not scared of crackers


Keonjhar: Fire crackers no longer scare elephants in the district because of their excessive use by forest personnel to drive away the animals straying into human habitations.

The Champua forest range is badly hit by straying wild elephants into villages and farmlands.

The elephants intrude into village almost around the year which is why keeping them at bay remains a continuous task for the forest department, said Champua forest range officer Ghanashyam Barik.

The department has pressed into service 50 personnel in the elephant chase squad.

Additionally, 150 honorary volunteers, comprising local people, assist them in the operations. The bursting of crackers to disperse the animals is an effective and time-tested method.

Besides, the elephant squad beats drums and tin cans to drive back the elephants into the forest.

Lately, cracker-bursting has not been yielding the desired result because these intelligent animals are no more scared of the noise.

The animals have got accustomed to the loud sounds and are not scared of it any more, said a forest official.

Besides, the release of funds for procuring crackers is erratic.

The high-decibel crackers used for elephant chasing are locally made. The department is yet to pay the outstanding credit to the local cracker traders, said the forest official.

Three herds with 32 elephants in total are now inside villages and crop areas in the Champua forest range, which is largely a plain area with rich cover of dense forest.

The area is also marked by vast reserve of crop fields and orchards. As traversing through the plain area is less strenuous, elephants from Telkoi, Sadar, Ghatagaon, Joda and Barbil forest areas frequent Champua.

Mining operations, besides shortage of fodder in the natural forests, is the main cause for elephants venturing into human habitations.

The shortage happens primarily due to large scale felling of trees for timber, forest fires, rampant harvesting of fruits in summer and cutting off fodder creepers such as Siali, the forest official said.


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‘DMK leader’ arrested for trying to sell ivory



In a covert operation in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu, the Mahalakshmi Layout police on Wednesday busted an ivory smuggling racket and arrested a gang of five men led by Khader Basha, who is believed to be a functionary of the DMK party. The six men are suspected of poaching elephants and other wildlife in Tamil Nadu and selling products, like tusks, in Karnataka. The police seized 12 tusks from the gang.

Acting on a tip-off, a police team posed as prospective clients and approached Naveen and Prakash who were in Bengaluru to sell elephant tusks. When the duo agreed to sell four tusks, they were promptly arrested with the poached goods.

On questioning them, the police learned that they were part of a larger gang that operated out of Krishnagiri district. “We learned that the leader of the gang was Khader Basha from Anchetty,” said the police.

On Wednesday, a special team led by Inspector B.N. Lohith went to Basha’s house in Anchetty. However, local residents tried to prevent his arrest. “Basha rallied DMK party workers in his hometown and tried to resist arrest by organising a mob,” said an officer who was part of the team.

The angry mob surrounded the police team and threatened to attack them if they did not release Basha. The team had to seek the help of their Tamil Nadu counterparts who rushed to the spot and dispersed the agitated mob.

Another team raided the houses of three of his associates — Javed, Shabarinath and Satish Kumar — in Dharmapuri district. They recovered four tusks sawed in half.

Basha and the other three accused were brought to Bengaluru and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also under the Wildlife Protection Act.

“Our initial probe has revealed that Basha is the kingpin of the racket. He ran a gang that would poach animals in the forests of Krishnagiri and Hosur districts,” said a senior police officer. The police are investigating if the gang has a place to illegally store wildlife products meant for sale in the black market.


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Avoiding Brutality : Kerala Sends 3 Elephants To Tamil Nadu Training Camp



In a masked admission to brutal ways being the only known taming technique known to us, the forest department has lorried three of its elephants to a “kumki” or training unit in Tamil Nadu.

The big beasts will reach Mudumalai Elephant camp.

Kerala has the densest domestic elephant population in the country but the latest brief deportation is based on “lack of expertise”.

Here even the most reputed elephant handlers use clubbing, battering and excessive tortures to subdue the massive beast.

In contrast at Maudumalai, skilled tribals use ancient techniques handed down from times when elephants were revered as supernatural beings.

There are 599 documented elephants and over 100 undocumented elephants in the state. They are used for temple processions or heavy-duty logging. In either cases they are kept in open violation of rules meant to ensure elephant safety and prevention of cruelty. While TB is the biggest killer among state elephants, death from wounds kept raw deliberately gets reported on and off.


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Dhalbhum foresters to build water bodies on jumbo corridor



JAMSHEDPUR: The forest department will augment water bodies this year to ensure herds of elephants on the dedicated corridor between Jharkhand and West Bengal do not descend to the foothills in search of water


Coming in the backdrop of three elephant-related casualties in the last two months in the foothill areas of Dhalbhum subdivision, the department said it will construct two check dams this year and four next year. "The two check dams will be constructed in the Ghatshila side (Chekam and Narsingpur) in the next few months," said Dhalbhum divisional forest officer (DFO) Saba Alam Ansari.

The department is scouting for the site for the construction of the other four check-dams in the Charchakka forest in Ghatshila which is part of the corridor used by elephants to travel between Dalma and West Midnapore in West Bengal. "We have more than 25 water natural and artificial sources of water on the corridor, but we have decided to increase the number of the man-made water bodies as part of the project," Ansari said.

Every year, elephants destroy crops in the villages located on the edge of the corridor spread across Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha. "Existing water bodies on the corridor have sufficient water level for the elephants," Ansari said, adding that nearly 70% of the existing water bodies has water available round the year. "We have also improved the approach paths leading to the natural and artificial water bodies," Ansari said.


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5 Elephants Circled Thai Man On Motorcycle, Trampled Him To Death



Bangkok:

A Thai man was trampled to death by five wild elephants near a rubber plantation Friday, police said, the latest deadly encounter in a country where pachyderms are both venerated and feared.

Masaree Samae, 40, was killed in the early morning attack in southern Yala province, home to many of Thailand's sprawling rubber plantations.

"The victim was riding his motorbike on the way to tap rubber... and was circled by five elephants," police captain Sathit Woonchoom told AFP by phone.

"I conducted the autopsy with a doctor and found wounds on his back and head," Sathit said.

The officer said he heard elephants rustling in the bushes near when he arrived at the scene to investigate.

Thailand's wild elephant population has dwindled to about 2,700 from a peak of 100,000 in 1850, according to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.

Deforestation and habitat loss has brought them in closer contact with humans in recent decades, and they often clash with villagers -- sometimes killing them.

Villagers have also killed the elephants despite them being a protected species.

Elephants are also poached or domesticated for entertainment and tourism.

Thailand has come under fire for its notorious elephant tourism trade and the threatened animals are widely used in circus performances, to give rides, or in films and on TV.

In November last year a five-tonne elephant that has starred in feature films and commercials crushed its owner to death in Chiang Mai.

The animal was in musth -- a state of high aggression among males accompanied by a hormonal surge -- when the accident happened, zoo officials said.

Two wild elephants were killed earlier this year by a pineapple farm worker who set up an electric fence set up to kill the creatures.

He was charged with poaching but quickly released on bail.


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Aroma of jackfruits attracts elephants



Rourkela: Bumper crop of jackfruit has become a cause of worry for the villagers in far-off areas of Sundargarh district as the aroma of the fruit is attracting elephants.

"This time, mango, tamarind and mahua production have been considerably low and only the jackfruit witnessed bumper harvest. You can see truckload of jackfruits hanging on every tree. Most of the fruits are in mature stage and some will ripe by the beginning of August. But, the bumper yield has been a curse for us because the aroma of the fruit is attracting elephants. We are worried and scared," said Jagannath Pradhan from Kokerma village.

Pradhan has to sell more than 30 large-sized ripe jackfruits at Jhirpani weekly haat. "If I fail to sell them I will leave those behind or give it for free to anyone at the end of the day. But I cannot take then back home as the smell will attract elephants to my house," he said.

The situation is same everywhere in the district, whether at Gurundia, or interior of Kutra,Talsara or Nuagaon or Jareikela. The smell of ripe jackfruit is attracting the elephants.

"Fortunately, the trees are mostly away from the houses and concentrated in a distant orchard or forest. But, this is a big concern for us as the animals come in a herd just 100 metres away," said Kuanrmunda forest range officer Raj Kishore Das.





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Jumbo attacks trigger panic



Silchar: Frequent attacks by a herd of wild elephants in different areas of Patharkandi in south Assam's Karimganj district in the last few days have triggered panic among the villagers.

Patharkandi is nearly 80km from here.

Villagers R. Goala and Antu Das, among others, said the houses of labourers Babul Kand and Kartik Kand were razed by the herd at Champabari village, around 95km from here, in the wee hours of Friday.

However, the two managed to flee to a safe place with their families when the attack took place.

Two more houses were damaged by the elephants on Saturday. The herd also destroyed crops in and around the village.

Uttam Rikiason, another villager, said though the elephants wreak havoc every year in different villages of Patharkandi, the forest department did not take any steps to curb the menace.

Rikiason said the herd had killed many goats and cows in different areas and demanded that the elephants be caught and sent to a wildlife sanctuary.

Sukhdeb Saha, a ranger of the Patharkandi forest range, told this correspondent over phone on Sunday morning that forest officials had visited the areas and assessed the damage caused by the herd.

He confirmed the destruction of houses and arable lands in the past two days and said compensation would be given to the affected families.


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Male elephant found dead



Chittoor: A male elephant was found dead in a forest close to Netteri village in Bangarupalem mandal on Sunday night, according to T Chakrapani, Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor). Speaking to the media here on Monday, the DFO said the villagers have found the dead tusker in a mango garden and informed the forest officials.



“After performing a post-mortem, it came to know that elephant died due to severe indigestion. No human fault was identified behind the death of the 25-year-old jumbo,” he stated.

Chakrapani has revealed that more than 34 elephants wandering in the Palamaner forest range in four herds. The DFO further said that forest staff are making serious efforts to restrict the movement of the elephants by digging the trenches around the forest boundaries.


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Villagers demand relocation relief



Baripada/Angul: Local people on Tuesday stalled the shifting of two trained elephants from the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) to Satkosia in Angul.

On the other hand, members of 27 families, who have been left out from the compensation package for relocation from Raigoda village located in the core area of the Satkosia tiger reserve lodged their protest.

The local people obstructed the shifting of elephants, alleging that the animals were not trained to monitor tigers.

The elephants to be shifted to Satkosia are Mahendra and Rajkumar of 56 and 15 years old, respectively.

Wildlife activist Bhanumitra Acharya said: "Mahendra is too old, while Rajkuamar is too young to be engaged in monitoring tigers in Satkosia. Further they are not trained for such jobs. Moreover, who will do their job in their absence?"

"So far I know these elephants were brought from Karnataka. But it is best known to the authorities why they are shifting them instead of procuring more elephants from Karnataka," said Acharya.


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Elephant delivers on design strategy and packaging for Nestle's first ever breakfast range in India



With a firm equity in milk, chocolates, snacks & beverages, launching a healthy breakfast range seems like the obvious next move. Nestle did just that with the launch of their first ever breakfast range NesPlus in India. Nestle partnered with Elephant for design strategy & packaging for this move.

“Indians have some very peculiar breakfast habits & preferences. What sets this range apart is the fact that it remains crunchy even inside milk. Since the cereals shelves are dominated with multinational & national brands already, this exercise was about creating new category codes while keeping Nestle equity enhanced” says Ashwini Deshpande, Co-founder, Director, Elephant.

Design team at Elephant decided to bring out the multi sensorial consumption experience by using a combination of custom illustrations with product photographs in their full glory. A clean hierarchy with rays connoting the morning mood and colours mirroring the flavours, the range has been designed with flexibility to add more formats & variants.


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Assam: Wild elephants go on rampage in Baksa villages



A herd of wild elephants went on a rampage and left behind a trail of destruction at Nagrijuli area in Baksa district of Assam on Wednesday night. The wild tuskers created terror at several villages falling under the Nagrijuli Development Block in the said district.

It is reported that elephant habitats are shrinking along the Indo-Bhutan border due to continuous human encroachment thus forcing them to come out of their natural habitats in search of food and, in the process, triggering conflict with the locals.

The said group of wild elephants entered Nagrijuli Tea Estate on Wednesday night and sat along the bank of Bornadi River. In search of food, the marauding tuskers entered Line No 6 and 8 of Nagrijuli Tea Estate and crushed the houses of Birshi Munda, Apurba Dundi, Amrit Bagh, Albish and Dilkumar. Another herd of wild pachyderms entered the nearby Dongargao village and smashed the houses of Uttam Biswas and Gudum Munda and broke the shops of Santosh Rai and Boistav Rai.

The marauding tuskers ate whatever food was left inside the houses and the shops and caused huge loss of property. The helpless villagers tried their best to chase away the wild elephants, but in vain. The villagers as well as the labourers of Nagrijuli Tea Estate stayed awake the whole night till the group of wild elephants left for the jungles at dawn.

The villagers have demanded that the State Government and the concerned authorities should take necessary steps to stop human-elephant conflict but, wildlife activists say that human encroachment in the forests of Northeast India have forced elephants out of their habitats thus triggering the said situation. Elephants rampage through villages in search of food as their habitats are being overtaken by people, say conservationists.


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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Ministers consider ban on hippo and mammoth ivory



Hippos, walruses and narwhals could be protected by a ban on the sale of items made from their tusks (writes Ben Webster). The government announced yesterday that it was considering extending the proposed ban on elephant ivory to cover other species, including sperm whales, killer whales and warthogs. It could cover the tusks of mammoths, which are similar to elephant ivory.

Ministers believe that their continued sale could fuel demand and lead to more elephants being poached. There are fears that the clampdown on elephant ivory has increased trade in ivory from other species, particulary hippos, which have declined by 12 per cent to about 100,000 in the past decade.


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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Speeding train kills elephant in Rajaji Tiger Reserve


A female elephant was killed after being run over by a speeding train in Rajaji Tiger Reserve on Tuesday, a forest official said.
The 35-year-old elephant was part of a group of 17 elephants crossing rail tracks parallel to NH-58 in Himalayan colony at 12:05 am on Tuesday when the high-speed Dehradun-Kathgodam Express was passing by, the official said.
While forest staff tried to alert the train driver, he did not slow down the train, resulting in the death of the elephant.
The death comes despite claims of preventive measures being taken by the Rajaji Tiger Reserve authority and railways.
Park patrolling teams were on duty near the accident site and manually signalled the train driver to stop.
Park employee Roshanlal said they tried to aware the loco pilot by showing torch light as there were more than a dozen elephants in human habitat area, trying to cross the railway track.
Rajaji Tiger Reserve director Sanatan Sonkar said it was a shocking incident for which both the park management and railways has been working jointly to curb such incidents.
“We are investigating this matter and if found guilty, we will file case against the train driver and are also taking steps to lessen such accidents by putting up censors and camera traps,” he added.
Another park official, on condition of anonymity, said many times train drivers don’t follow the minimum speed limit and take precautions.


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Train kills elephant in Uttarakhand


Dehradun, June 26 : A female elephant was found dead in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand on Tuesday after being run over by a train, a forest official said. Officials told IANS that a group of 17 elephants was crossing the rail tracks when the high-speed Dehradun-Kathgodam Express was passing by.

While foresters tried to alert the driver, he did not slow down the train, resulting in the death of the elephant.

Drivers of trains are expected to slow down while passing through the national park. But elephants continue to be hit and killed by trains.

The management of the forest reserve said a case will be filed against the train driver.


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Jumbo herd wreaks havoc in Assam’s Udalguri district; elephant menace prevails in Numaligarh region



Conflict between man and elephant seems to be a never ending story in Assam. The regions of Harisinga and Paneri in Udalguri district is seeing pianic spread among the local people over the increased presence of wild elephants in the area.

A large herd of elephants has damaged human habitations and crops. Large number of elephants have been roaming in broad daylight. The lackadaisical attitude of the forest department has forced the local people to take certain measures to drive off elephants from their villages and farmlands.

Apart from Udalguri, elephant menace is also being witnessed in Assam’s Sundarpur region near Numaligarh where packs of jumbos have being raiding at human settlements and destroying crops.

People are spending sleepeless while fearing for their lives and properties due to the jumbo menace. Man-elephant conflict has become an almost regular affair in the region around Numaligarh.


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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Minor dies in Elephant Attack in Sambalpur

Sambalpur: A five-year-old girl who was sleeping inside her home was killed after an elephant herd went on rampage in Basupali village under Katarbaga police limits of the district, here in the wee hours of Thursday. The girl’s younger sister and parents were also left injured.

According to reports, the family was sleeping inside their brick house when an elephant smashed down the room they were sleeping. The minor identified as Gitanjali Munda was killed as the wall collapsed on her.

The girl’s parents Raj Kumar Munda and Mukta Munda along with their 3-year old daughter were left injured and later shifted to Sambalpur District Headquarters hospital.

As per reports, an elephant herd comprising more than 15-members camping in Rengali forest range had entered the village last night and damaged at least 10 houses.

Meanwhile, the panicked villagers have demanded that the forest officials take immediate steps to drive away the jumbo herd.


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Assam mulls roadmap to curb conflict with elephants



GUWAHATI: Confronted with the growing incidence of human-elephant conflict in the state and constrained by manpower crunch, the Assam forest department will soon constitute public coordination groups in a joint effort to create a roadmap to mitigate the problem in the affected areas.

“To start with, five groups will be formed at Nonaikhuti, Rajagarh, Paneri, Santipur and Udalguri for better coordination between villagers and the forest department,” MK Sarma, divisional forest officer of Dhansiri forest division, Udalguri, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

Three persons have been trampled to death and one injured in the past two months in Udalguri district under Bodoland Territorial Council even as encroachment by humans and subsequent loss of habitat and corridor blocks have compounded the problem.

“A district-level coordination committee meeting will be held this week where the gaon burahs (village headmen) and people having knowledge on the ground realities would be invited to take part. Suggestions and opinions would be taken into account in order to find out what needs to be done and subsequently create a roadmap to mitigate this conflict,” Sarma said.

The conflict has taken a serious turn in Goalpara forest division as well where at least 50 migratory elephants from Garo Hills are present. A couple of days back, two persons were reportedly trampled to death by a solitary elephant.

Obstruction of pathways (corridors) has rendered wild elephants directionless thereby triggering the conflict in the state’s reserved forests.


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1 killed, 1 critical in jumbo attack in Dhenkanal



Dhenkanal: Adding to the spate in the cases of elephant attack in the state, wild pachyderms killed one person and left another critical in separate incidents under Hindol Forest Range in Dhenkanal district last night.

In the first instance, an elderly man identified as Prasanna Behera was trampled to death in Tentulisingha village under Kamakhyanagar police limits in the district. Behera was returning to his home last night while a tusker which had sneaked into the village in search of food pounced on him. He died on the spot.

In a similar incident in Kalinga village under Hindol Tehsil, another elderly man was badly injured in the attack of a wild tusker. Identified as Suresh Chandra Pal, the victim was on his way to farmland when the jumbo lifted him with its trunk and threw to a distance.

Pal has been admitted to a nearby hospital and his condition is stated to be critical.

A report of elephant incursion has also been received from Bankitia village under Rasol Tehsil in the district where a wild tusker overturned a tractor and spread panic in the area for hours this morning.

Forest officials have been rushed to the places where elephant attacks have taken place and taking stock of the situation.


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Jumbo herd kills man in Chakulia



Jamshedpur: An elephant herd trampled to death a 60-year-old man near Bandih village under Kadaduba panchayat in East Singhbhum's Chakulia forest range, around 70 km from here, on Friday morning.

The victim, Shyamchandra Pal, had ventured into a nearby jungle when he came too close to the herd that had crossed over to Chakulia from adjoining Ghatshila forest range.

Chakulia range officer Gorakh Ram said the incident took place between 4.30am and 5.30am. "Pal and a few villagers from Bandih had gone to chase away the elephants but he came face-to-face with the herd and was tramped to death. A villager was also injured in the attack," he added. Pal's body has been sent to Ghatshila Sadar hospital for autopsy.

The range officer said around a dozen elephants had crossed Kharaswati river, which flows between Chakulia and Ghatshila range, on Thursday night. "We have formed two separate teams to drive away the jumbos from the jungle near Bandih village. But is it very difficult as they tend to come back again. But we are doing our best," he said.

The forest department handed over Rs 25,000 to the widow of the deceased for performing his last rites and Rs 3.75 lakh more would be given as compensation after paper works are completed. The forest department gives Rs 4 lakh compensation to victims of elephant attacks.

Ghatshila range officer Sushil Verma said separate herds of around 40 elephants were scattered in the jungles and some crossed over to Chakulia on Thursday night. "The herds were anchored at Makuli and Dayamani jungles till Thursday. Then they moved towards Chakulia," he said and added some of the elephants were still stationed in Ghatshila range.


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Elephants from Kerala begin training at Mudumalai



Three captive elephants from the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary in Kerala began their three-month training to become kumki elephants, at the Theppakadu elephant camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve on Friday.

The elephants, named Suryan, Neelakandan, and Surendran, will be trained to become kumkis or trained elephants that can be used for operations to trap wild elephants and help mitigate human-animal conflicts.

The animals will first be trained to obey basic commands, and subsequently to carry out complex tasks.

The Kerala Forest Department had sought the help of its Tamil Nadu counterpart to help train the animals. The Theppakadu elephant camp was chosen on account of the expertise of its staff in training kumkis.

The training was inaugurated by Deputy Director of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (core and buffer areas), Shenbaga Priya, along with the Conservator of Forest Wildlife (Palakkad District) B. Anjan Kumar.

Officials said that there was great cooperation between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu Forest Departments, with kumki elephants from the Theppakadu camp being used in the past for operations in Kerala. They added that the Nilgiris’ border with Kerala had a high incidence of human-animal conflict, and the Forest Departments of both states would need to work together to help mitigate such conflicts.


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Wild elephant kills farmer on Ooty border



Ooty: The man-elephant conflict surfaced yet again on the Nilgiris border when a wild elephant attacked and killed a farmer in Gudalur limits near here.

While the Gudalur and Pandalur limits in Nilgiris border has been witnessing an upsurge in the movement of stray wild animals into human settlements and a rise in man-elephant conflict in recent times, on Friday it took an ugly turn when the wild elephant which strayed into Vachakolli hamlet in the Pandanthurai area in Gudalur taluk attacked and killed Radhakrishnan (40), a farmer and resident of Vachakolli.

Sources said that Radhakrishnan was on his way to his fields on Friday morning.

A wild elephant which appeared from the nearby bushes attacked him. He succumbed to his injuries on the spot.

Villagers who gathered at the spot held a stir and wanted action from the Forest department to chalk out strategies to keep wild elephants from sneaking into the village limits.

The people also demanded an action plan for better protective measures in the village limits to tackle the man-elephant conflict.

Forest officials held talks with the villagers and promised to do their best to tackle man-animal conflicts.


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Elderly woman killed by wild elephant in C'garh


A septuagenarian woman was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Korba district of Chhattisgarh this morning, police said.

The victim, identified as Nevarthin Bai (78), was attacked by the pachyderm when she had gone to collect forest produce from the forest adjacent to her village Sakdukala in Kartala forest range, a forest official said.


"She spotted the pachyderm in the forest, after which she tried to escape. However, the elephant chased and attacked her, in which she died on the spot," he said.

The local villagers spotted her body and informed the police and forest officials, following which they rushed to the spot, he said.

The woman's body has been sent for the post-mortem, he said adding that a case has been registered in this connection.

"The kin of the deceased were given an instant relief amount of Rs 25,000 by the forest department, while the remaining compensation amount of Rs 3.75 lakh will be disbursed after completing all the formalities in this connection," the official said.

With this incident, so far three people, including two women, have been killed in elephant attacks at separate places in the district, the official said.

Forest personnel have been directed to keep an eye on the movement of elephants in the area to avoid human-jumbo conflicts and drive them away from the human habitations, he added.

The thick forested northern Chhattisgarh, comprising Surguja, Surajpur, Korba, Raigarh, Jashpur, Balrampur and Korea districts, are notorious for human-elephant conflict.

The region has witnessed killings of several tribals and widespread damages to houses and crops by rogue elephants in the past few years.


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Elderly woman trampled by elephant in Korba district



RAIPUR: An elderly woman was trampled to death in tusker attack on Saturday morning when she was out to collect forest produce in Korba district. This is third death due to man-elephant conflict in the region within a week.

78-year-old Nevarthin Bai from village Sakdukla had gone to the forest to collect forest produce early on Saturday when she came across a wild elephant. The tuskers in the region have been behaving aggressively immediately as they come in contact with humans and chase them.

Having no refuge, the woman ran for life on seeing the wild elephant but she couldn't run much far. She was rolled over by the elephant in its trunk and was thrown on the ground with a strong impact. The pachyderm then trampled her till she died.

Locals didn't dare to come for the rescue and once the animal left, they rushed towards her only to find her dead. Her mutilated body was sent for post-mortem by forest officials.

Forest department had been warning people against going into the forest in presence of elephants and expresses incompetency to deal with the issue without co-operation of public.

It was early this week when another elderly woman was trampled to death by elephant when she went to forest to relieve herself in Kartala. Last Saturday a man was attacked in forest too. 60-year-old Ghusiaram Rathiya had gone to collect mahua fruits when an elephant trampled him to death.


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Elderly man crushed to death by elephants in Sambalpur



Sambalpur: In yet another elephant-human conflict, a 72-year-old man was killed in elephant attack at Baham village under Jujumura block of Sambalpur district on Sunday.

The deceased was identified as Biranchi Panda of the same village.

According to sources, the incident took place in the wee hours today when the deceased had gone to the nearby forest to collect mangoes. Biranchi and two others of the village confronted two elephants in the forest. while two others managed to escape from the spot, Biranchi failed. The wild jumbos attacked him and crushed to death.

His other two aids rushed to the village and informed the matter, following which villagers rushed to the jungle where they found Biranchi dead. A tusker and a female elephant ventured into the deep forest seeing the gathering of the villagers.

Locals informed the incident to local police and forest department. On being informed forest officials and police rushed to the spot. The police sent the body for post-mortem after preliminary investigation.

The forest department announced an ex-gratia of Rs four lakh to the victim’s family and the local sarpanch paid Rs 2, 000 under Harischandra Yojana of Odisha Government for last rites of the deceased.


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President offered recommendations on conserving Sinharaja elephants



Protect Sri Lanka (Surakimu Sri Lanka) Organization has produced a list of proposals to the President Maithripala Sirisena on the recent developments regarding the 2 rare elephants in the Sinharaja Forest.

In the letter, they have appreciated the President’s decision to halt the removal of the said 2 elephants from their habitat.

Mentioning the importance of the 2 elephants, they say rather than providing just simple or emotional solutions to the human- elephant conflict, special attention should be given to sustainably resolve this issue.

The organization, in their letter, has listed out the following recommendations and proposals regarding the issues.


1. Preparing a proper management plan with a localized conservation plan by also considering the protection of the public and their property.

2. Establishing a committee consisting of relevant officials, scientific and technical experts, environmentalists and agents of community organizations of the area, to sustainably resolve the issue.

3. Use of tracking devices on the elephants to monitor their migratory patterns and to track their locations in order to regulate their entry to the areas of cultivation and human populace.

4. Establishing electric fences surrounding the villages which are threatened by the human-elephant conflict, instead of building electric fences around the forest.

5. Establishment of wildlife offices in the villages where the human-elephant conflicts are the most intense.

6. Setting up elephant passes according to the dietary and biological needs of the 2 elephants and limiting human activities near those elephant passes.

7. Removal of illegally cultivated land and strengthening the program regarding the buffer zone of the Sinharaja world heritage site.

8. Instructing police to strictly enforce the law regarding illegal gem mining, moonshine brewery, ‘wallapatta’ smuggling and deforestation in the Sinharaja forest.

9. Launching community conservation programs by educating the public living near Sinharaja world heritage site, on its importance.

10. Seeking the support of both local environmental organization as well international organizations such as the IUCN, UNESCO and Conservation International, with the conservation of the Sinharaja world heritage site.


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Wild elephant kills young tribal in Tripura



Agartala: A wild elephant crushed a tribal youth to death on the spot in the deep jungles of Tripura, a northeastern Indian state.

Braja Sadhan Jamatia, 25, was crushed to death on June 20 morning at Hatipara near Maharani under Udaipur subdivision.

Jamtia had gone to the jungles in Hatipara to collect wood and wild herbals for consumption. Suddenly an elephant prowling in the area lifted him with its trunk and threw him down on the ground before smashing him to death with his foot.

This incident has triggered panic among villagers living near Hatipara as they fear rampaging herd of elephants. Sources in the forest department said that despite a drastic depletion in numbers the few elephants moving in herds pose a major menace to lives and properties.

“There are times when the elephant herds descend to the paddy fields and consume large quantities of paddy and other horticultural products besides destroying thatched and mud houses but this is the first killing after many years,” said a senior official of forest department from Udaipur.


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Odisha man quarrels with father, kills 4-year-old son in fit of anger



Jharsuguda: In a shocking incident, a man fought his own father and vented his anger on his four-year-old son causing his death in Bhursimal village under Laikera police limits of the district yesterday.

The deceased minor boy has been identified as Subham Nayak.

According to reports, Subham’s father Dinesh Nayak had gone to Bhursimal village yesterday evening to take him to their house. However, Dinesh, who works as a driver, had a minor fight with his father after the latter denied to take Subham as it was getting dark. However, on a fit of anger, Dinesh, who was under the influence of alcohol, pushed his father and kicked and slapped Subham causing both of them severely injured.

Subham and his grandfather were rushed to Jharsuguda district headquarter hospital soon after the incident. However, the boy succumbed to injuries this morning.

Laikera police started a probe into the incident and launched a manhunt to trace Dinesh, who absconded soon after the incident.

The deceased minor was staying with his grandparents for the last nine months, said sources.


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Wild elephant kills two motorcyclists in Naula



Two motorcyclists were killed by a wild elephant on Wednesday night at Lihinipitiya in Naula.

Police identified the victims as 29-year-old Nalaka Ruwan, a father of two and 30-year-old Sumudu Kamal Bandara, a father of one. They were known to be childhood friends from Lihinipitiya.


Residents in the area said several people had been killed by wild elephants in the past and that though wildlife officers were informed about the threats they faced, nothing had been done to resolve the human-elephant conflict. They requested for protection at least till the funeral rites were performed.
Officials of the Naula Divisional Secretariat who rushed to the scene promised to provide police protection and with the help of wildlife officials to move the wild elephants from the area.


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Jumbos run amok



Keonjhar: The wild elephants have destroyed over a dozen of houses and trampling croplands at villages in the Champua forest range jurisdiction.

The herd, which had strayed into the villages, are from the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district. The elephants had migrated to the villages a fortnight ago. However, they had been driven away to their habitat. But, they reappeared again on Wednesday evening, said forest officials.

Though the jumbos have caused damaged to property and farm lands, so far no human casualty or injury has been reported.

The villages affected by elephant depredation are Banika, Katulikana, Tunutuna near the dense forest areas in Champua range.

The animals led their habitation corridor of Similipal Tiger Reserve and traversed through over 100km of hilly terrains and dense forest to stray into the reserve forest. The villages, where the elephants have strayed, are home to about 6,000 residents.

Skilled service group of elephant chasers are keeping round-the-clock watch on the animals. The GPS-tracking teams have spotted the jumbos' movements near the villages. They are on the job to chase them from there.

"As the location of elephants has been tracked, we are hopeful of blocking the animals' movement route to the villages and drive them away," the official said.

Odisha, which houses 70 per cent of total elephant population in east India, has been witnessing deteriorating human-elephant conflict with jumbo depredation spreading to 26 out of 30 districts of the state. The wild animals wander villages searching for food due to shrinking habitats.

Elephant attack

A five-year-old girl, who was sleeping at home, was killed after an elephant herd went on rampage at Basupali village in Katarbaga police limits of Sambalpur on Thursday.


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Elephant kills two in tea garden in Alipurduar


An elephant trampled to death two persons at Gaerkata tea garden at Dhupguri in Alipurduar district, the police said today.

The incident happened when a herd of elephants was going to Marahat forest through the tea garden and one pachyderm killed a man and a woman yesterday.


As others raised an alarm and many people rushed to the spot, the elephants hurriedly entered the forest.

While the man was identified as a tea garden worker, the identity of the woman yet to be ascertained, the police said.


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As elephants kill in Assam, blame on ‘Laden’



Around 3.30 am on June 1, at village Patpara Pahartoli, adjacent to a forest area in Assam’s Goalpara district, Manoj Hajong (25) and his brother Bidyadhar Hajong (28) were woken up by shouts that there was an elephant outside their hut.

The Hajong brothers rushed outside to see a lone elephant, about 9 feet in height and without a tusk, walking away after eating the rice crop kept in the verandah of the hut.

Manoj, a driver by profession, sprinted behind the elephant to chase it away, Bidyadhar on his toes. At the same time, three young neighbours of the Hajongs — armed with sticks which held lit jute twines — ran towards the elephant from the other side.

Trapped, the furious elephant turned, let out a cry and sprang towards Manoj. It threw Manoj to the ground, crushed him and went off towards the forest. Bidyadhar ran out of its way.

“I saw Manoj die… what could I do? It was ‘Laden’. Had I tried to do anything which offended the giant, I would not have been alive today. We call it ‘Laden’ because people get paralysed with fear when they see him attacking,” says Bidyadhar, who is a farmer.

The elephant he is talking about is around the same age, and Goalpara district’s only loner elephant. Over two years and the 300 sq km of forest area he is rumoured to operate in, ‘Laden’ is accused of killing several people and damaging huts. Villagers in the affected areas do not know much about Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda. What they do know is that ‘Laden’ stands for “someone who scares”.

Since 2016, Goalpara district officials have attributed 20-25 deaths to elephant trampling. This year, they have listed eight. Every other day in the past few weeks, ‘Laden’ has hit the headlines in the local press for his “atrocities”.

But several forest and district administration officials as well as experts say it is unlikey ‘Laden’ is responsible for all he is accused of. “No doubt this elephant has killed people, but so have elephants in herds. He is targeted by public because his atrocities are prominent,” says Goalpara Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) A Goswami.


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TB infected elephants not to be used for tourist rides in Amer Fort: Rajasthan govt



New Delhi: The Rajasthan government on Thursday directed the Department of Archaeology and Museums to segregate, quarantine and ensure that the ten elephants found to be suffering from tuberculosis are not used as rides for Amer Fort.

The move by comes after a plea from animal rights groups including the Humane Rights Society International/India (HSI India) and People for Animals for the contagious elephants to be quarantined.

"We welcome the news of infected elephants being quarantined and not being used at rides. However, segregation is not enough," said N G Jayasimha, managing director HSI India, in a statement to PTI. He added that there need to be better living conditions for elephants so that the spread of diseases can be contained.

On June 1, a court had directed the Jaipur police department to investigate instances of cruelty against elephants used to provide joy rides at the Amer Fort and submit a report before it.

According to an examination conducted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) during December 2017 to March 2018 at Hathi Gaon, ten elephants were found to be suffering from tuberculosis.

Animal rights activists had asked the Union Health Ministry on June 18 to quarantine elephants infected with tuberculosis in Jaipur's Amer Fort and screen all the untested animals which are "forced" to give rides to tourists, as the disease can spread from animals to humans.


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Two rare elephants confined to Sinharaja



A recent attempt to relocate two rare elephants from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve created a controversy within environmentalists as the UNESCO would de-list the area as a world heritage site. This led to the intervention of the President who issued a directive that the move to relocate the elephants should be suspended until a proper scientific study was done on whether this transmigration would lead to the extinction of this rare species.


The UNESCO in 1978 designated the Sinharaja Forest Reserve as a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site.

SINHARAJA FOREST RESERVE
Sinharaja is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified it as the last vestige of primary tropical rain forest with more than 60 per cent of the trees are endemic or rare.


This hilly virgin rain forest is only 21kms (13mi) from East to West and a maximum of 7kms (13mi) from North to South, but it is a unique area of endemic species including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Wildlife is not seen easily because of the dense vegetation as in the dry-zone national parks like Yala. According to Wikipedia, there were three elephants and 15 leopards, and the common mammal is the endemic purple-faced Langur. One elephant cannot be accounted for at present.


There are 26 endemic birds in Sri Lanka, of which 20 rain forest species occur in Sinharaja. Reptiles include endemic green pit viper, hump-nosed vipers and also rare variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. There are also invertebrates like common bird wing, butterfly and leeches.


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18 deaths in 6 months: How can Kerala save its elephants?



There have been so many stories, one almost every other day in the newspapers. It has stopped shocking the readers. Elephants die. They keep dying. A slow tilt of the head, a sympathetic ‘tch’, and they turn the page, they forget.

But on Twitter a few days ago, there were posts, retweets about an elephant’s death. Kolakkadan Jagannathan has ‘fallen’ as they say in Malayalam. And he is the 18th casualty in Kerala this year. Before even June has ended. 18 elephants in 6 months. Averaging three a month.

He and singer Chitra Iyer, the other founder of the group, are approaching the state Head of the Forest Force, PK Kesavan, with a solution plan they have drawn up. “It should be done at the state level. There are less than 400 elephants in the state (excluding the wild ones) and these are being paraded for all the festivals across Kerala through October to May. Most of these are owned by private concerns. The Devaswom Board comes only after that. The elephants go from one festival to the other, one day in Kannur, the next day in Thiruvananthapuram. They get no rest, they are not properly fed. It is after the festive season that elephants die,” he lists out the problem first.


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Elephant tramples car, occupants escape unhurt



Occupants of a car who were on pilgrimage to Kukke Subrahmanya escaped death by a whisker when a wild elephant trampled their vehicle in Kadaba police limits on Saturday morning. Girish from Kadur in Chikkamagaluru district was driving the car towards Kukke Subrahmanya on the Uppinangady-Subrahmanya State Highway after the occupants visited Dharmasthala.

When the car reached CPCRI Research Centre and International Coconut Gene Bank for South Asia premises at Kidu, Bilinele, the driver suddenly spotted the wild elephant on the road and immediately brought the vehicle to a halt. The elephant, which was crossing the road, stopped midway and charged towards the vehicle.

Even as the elephant was attacking the car, sending shock waves among the eight occupants, it was frightened by the honking of a KSRTC bus arriving on the same stretch.

It left the car and disappeared into the forest, the driver told the police.


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Jumbo herd kills one on Dalma fringes



Jamshedpur: A 45-year-old man was killed by elephants at Oppo village in Patamda, on the fringes of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, in the small hours of Friday.

Buddheshwar Singh, a resident of Jarka Tola in Oppo village, around 35km from here in East Singhbhum district, was trampled to death by a herd of elephants while he was guarding his farm around 4am.

Dalma range officer R.P. Singh, Kanderbera forester Prakash Chandra and his Bhadodih counterpart Tapan Kumar Mahto reached the spot after villagers informed them about the incident. "The incident took place around 4am. Singh was alone when the elephants attacked and killed him. Police have sent the body to MGM Medical College and Hospital for autopsy," he said.

The forest department has paid Rs 25,000 to the victim's wife, Shanthi Bala, for funeral expenses. "Another Rs 3.75 lakh will be paid after paperwork is completed. Elephant attack victims are given a compensation of Rs 4 lakh," the range officer said.

On Sunday last, forest authorities had alerted villagers that three separate herds having around 40 elephants were anchored in Patamda. The Dalma range office in Mango had also distributed crackers and torches among them.

The herds had left Dalma last month for their annual sojourn to the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in neighbouring Bengal. However, after reaching Dalbhumgarh and Ghatshila, they turned back and started heading towards Dalma via Patamda.

Normally, the elephants migrate to the neighbouring state in August-September and return in January-February. But, the noise of a gun battle between Maoists and paramilitary forces inside the forest forced an early migration.

Elephants had destroyed houses and standing crops in Patamda and also injured an elderly earlier this year. Herds go on the rampage in search of food and damage houses in the process.


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Elephant hurls its keeper from its back and tramples him to death at a temple in India



An elephant trampled its own keeper to death in a tragic accident at a temple in India.

The keeper, named only as Gajendran, 48, was killed while riding the beast at the Samayapuram Mariamman temple in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

Horrifying footage from the scene showed Gajendran's body being booted around by the enraged animal as blood poured onto the floor of the main temple building.

The elephant is kept on the site for the purpose of blessing pilgrims. But she suddenly decided to attack her 48-year-old carer on Tuesday.

He had reportedly been sitting on her back when she plucked him free using her trunk, and then trampled him to death.

The elephant was only brought under control after 40 minutes by a team of four daring carers from the temple.

According to local media, there were around 300 people in the building at the time - all of whom managed to get clear of the rampaging animal.

Temple officials said the 10 year-old female elephant named Masini had been living at the temple for the past four years without issue.

A police spokesperson said they were not sure what had caused the elephant to become angry.

The forestry Ministry official added: 'A team of vets have arrived to provide treatment to the elephant. The dead man's body has been retrieved and has been sent for post-mortem.

'He had worked as a keeper for four years until this happened.'

The temple has been closed while police carry out an investigation into the incident and the elephant moved to a new location for at least three months.


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Gaj Yatra, campaign for elephants travelling through Garo Hills of Meghalaya



The country’s biggest campaign for elephants, the Gaj Yatra is going to be travelling through the Garo Hills landscape of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya over the next four days, touching five identified elephant corridors.

Ceremonially flagged off amidst hundreds of supporters and dignitaries in Tura, the Gaj Yatra will travel over the next four days and culminate in Baghmara.

Led by partners Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Gaj Yatra is the biggest event ever planned around India’s national heritage animal – the Asian elephant.

It will move through 12 elephant range states over the next few months, generating a groundswell of popular and policy support to help secure ‘right of passage’ for elephants through 101 vital migratory corridors mapped across India.

IFAW-WTI in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India, and the Government of Meghalaya’s Department of Forest & Environment, formally launched Gaj Yatra with WTI’s Brand Ambassador Dia Mirza at Dapokgre, Tura, in the presence of James P K Sangma, Minister for Home, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Government of Meghalaya and WTI Executive Director & CEO Vivek Menon.


Dignitaries from across Meghalaya were present on the occasion, expressing solidarity for the ‘right of passage’ for elephants.


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Wildlife department takes custody of elephant calf



JAIPUR: Following a local court's order, the Rajasthan Wildlife Department has taken the custody of a female elephant calf, rescued from illegal captivity in Ajmer district. The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate had directed the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW), G V Reddy, to take the custody of the 10-year-old calf, Suman, which was found captivated in Ajmer against the rules of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, advocate Tanuj Gupta said.

"Following CZA regulations, we have taken custody of the elephant. We will take further decision in a few days," Reddy said. The accused, Rajendra Sharma, had kept the elephant illegally. The matter was brought to the attention of the state Forest Department by Humane Society International and People for Animal last week.


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Vidyut Jammwal appreciates Indian Railways efforts to save elephants



Vidyut Jammwal who also plays a elephant loving vet in his upcoming film Junglee, took to Twitter to laud the efforts to protect the elephant Vidyut Jammwal The increasing number of cases pertaining to elephants who get killed on railway tracks are on the rise, and the Indian Railways has recently started an initiative to solve the problem. They have imposed strict restrictions on speed limit at several stretches of North Eastern tracks where the problem is on the rise. The stretches where trains will slow down include 62 identified elephant corridors. Railway data shows that 70 elephants have died after being hit by trains since 2013. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and the forest department records say train-hits killed 16 elephants in 2016, and at least a dozen last year. Vidyut Jammwal who is an animal lover, who also plays an elephant loving vet who is set out to uncover a deadly poaching racket in his upcoming film Junglee, took to Twitter to laud the efforts to protect the elephants. He wrote: Congratulations to everyone behind this initiative, thank you @RailMinIndia @RailNf & @PiyushGoyal ji for being so thoughtful about the lives of our ELEPHANTS! This sure will help us save the mighty giants from tragedies in futureclick here — Vidyut Jammwal (@VidyutJammwal) May 28, 2018 Junglee is a family adventure film which revolves around the unique friendship between a man and elephant, adds Vidyut.


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Monday, June 25, 2018

Tusker dies of heart related ailment at Nagarahole Elephant Camp



A 46 year-old Tusker 'Airavata', housed at Mathigodu Elephant Camp in Nagarahole National Park died of heart related ailment.



Project Tiger Director R Ravishankar said that the elephant, which was captured last year near Pachikallu Hills in Nelamangala, was also suspected to have died of Tuberculosis. During the postmortem by veterinarian Dr Mujeeb it was seen water was accumulated on the upper side of the heart and the elephant may have died of due to this reason.


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Gaj Yatra honours Meghalaya’s elephant corridor effort



• Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Wildlife Trust of India has rolled out the ‘Gaj Yatra’ from Tura, the principle town of Garo Hills in Meghalaya. The event involves taking an elephant mascot across district frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people.

• The role of Nokmas, traditional custodians of the land, is important here in supporting the move towards co-existence between man and animal and helping conservationists for the success of the initiative.

==>About Gaj Yatra

• Gaj Yatra, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states. The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.

• The 15 months campaign will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India. The campaign aims to create awareness about the elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.

==>World Elephant Day

• World Elephant Day is an annual event celebrated across the world on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants. The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about the plight of elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants.

• African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants.

• World Elephant Day is celebrated to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to help protect elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.


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Elephants trample boy in Kokrajhar



Dhubri: A 12-year-old boy was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants near Basbari in Kokrajhar district on Tuesday night.

Bandhu Ram Brahmo, a student of class VII of Basbari High School, came in front of a herd of elephants which had entered Basbari Boraibari village, 25km from Dhubri district headquarters, on Tuesday night.

District forest officer, Parbotjhora forest division, A. Sundar said, "The elephants usually come from Kochugoan forest division of Gossaigoan under Kokrajhar district."

He said after receiving information, a team of forest officials went to the village on Wednesday morning. The post-mortem was conducted at Dhubri civil hospital.

The process for providing compensation will be carried out only after receiving the post-mortem and police report, he said.

The forest department has warned the villagers not to venture into the nearby forest areas.

"We have informed the gaonburah to advise villagers not to approach elephants and to inform the department about any sighting of jumbos. We are now tracking the movement of the elephants," Sundar said.

Villagers said the herd was also causing damage to agricultural fields at Basbari Boraibari and adjoining villages.

An elderly woman was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants at Digboi in Tinsukia on Sunday.

A source said Kumari Rai, 65, had gone for a morning walk around 4.30am when suddenly she came in front of the jumbo herd.


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Wild elephant stomps man to death



Coimbatore: A man in his 30s, suspected to be mentally ill, was trampled to death by a wild elephant close to a tributary of river Noyyal near Thondamuthur on Wednesday.

Villagers told police that the man, who appeared to be mentally-ill, was roaming in the locality for the last few days. On Tuesday night they had spotted a female elephant along with its calf wandering along the banks of Chinnar, the tributary of Noyyal.

The elephant must have attacked the man, villagers said.

Forest officials informed police, who recovered the body and sent it for post mortem. Police said the identity of the man was yet to be ascertained.


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Cruelty cause for violent reaction of temple elephants, say activists



COIMBATORE: Incidents of cruelty against elephants in temples are aplenty and animal rights activists allege ill-treatment and lack of proper food, rest and medication leading to abnormal behaviour and sometimes proving fatal.

Vanam Trust of India Founder S Chandra Sekar told The Covai Post ctivist and Founder of Vanam Trust of India said earlier elephants were used for construction purposes, wars and as part of temple rituals. But nowadays we have plenty of resources and there is no need of an elephant in a temple,” he said.

“Years of exploitation have made a collapse in the eco-system. Elephants are brutally handled and caretakers let them starve for more than a week. It takes at least six months of consistent torture to domesticate it,” adds Chandra Sekar.

Domesticating elephants involves starvation, piercing of the ears with hot iron rods and pulling a rope through the holes to restrict its movement. The mahout will always thwack the elephant to do some gestures and the training turns out to be painful, he added.

“Elephants should be placed in the sand so that it can walk around 40 km a day. It should be fed over 240 kg of food and nearly 120 litres of water daily which is most often not be followed, especially in temples,” he says.

Activist Manoj says, “Only because of not having rest, proper intake of food and as a result of the heat, elephants stand on stones on the temple premises and can be case for tragic incidents like the recent one at Samayapuram temple in Trichy.”

“Elephants are captured from forests around the city and officials and caretakers cage them to the woods to ensure they get familiarised with the new environment. They are fed on ragi, kambu, thinai mixture, palm shoots and coconut barks which are not nutritious after all the torture that the animal has had to undergo,” said Chandra Sekar.

“The ill-treatment by the caretakers and the resultant depression caused to elephants can lead to many abnormal incidents in temples. It is this ill-treatment that leads to elephants turning violent and causing loss to life and property,” he added.


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Court orders police to probe cruelty against elephants used for joyrides in Jaipur's Amber Fort



Jaipur: A Jaipur court has directed the police department to investigate into cruelty against elephants used for providing joy rides at the Amber Fort and submit a report before it.

The court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate has also directed the police to register an FIR against accused involved in animal abuse and cruelty, as per the order copy.

Petitioner Gauri Maulekhi, the trustee of People for Animals, had moved the court seeking relief to the animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, stating that nearly 103 elephants at the Amber Fort are being ill-treated and forced to carry load more than the prescribed limits and are suffering from several health problems.

Citing a recent Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) report, a petition was filed.


Hearing the petition on Thursday and looking into the AWBI report, the court ordered to get the matter investigated by the police and file an FIR against accused involved in animal cruelty, the petitioner said.

As per the examination conducted by the AWBI during December 2017 to March 2018 at Hathi Gaon, 19 captive elephants of the 102 elephants were observed to be blind, either unilaterally or bilaterally, rendering them unfit for any work. Ten elephants were found to be suffering from tuberculosis and 28 were found to be above 50 years of age. Moreover, the elephants were found to be under severe psychological distress. The tusks of 47 elephants appeared to have been cut. The elephants were seen carrying loads heavier than 200 kg, the report said.


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Court puts cruelty against elephants at Amber Fort under scanner


Police told to probe into abuse of 103 pachyderms at the tourism hotspot

A magistrate’s court in Amber, near here, has directed the police to investigate into cruelty against elephants used as a tourist attraction and for giving joy rides to the visitors to the historic Amber Fort.

Nearly 103 elephants regularly carry tourists up and down a deep slope at the fort built by the erstwhile Kachwaha Rajput rulers.

The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has asked the police to register a first information report against the accused involved in animal abuse and cruelty, if a complaint made to it was found valid, and submit a report before it.

The order came on the complaint filed by Gauri Maulekhi, trustee of the People for Animals.

Ms. Maulekhi said nearly 103 elephants at the Amber Fort were being ill-treated and forced to carry load more than the prescribed limits and were suffering from several health problems. They are housed in “Haathi Gaon” concrete , ahousing structure situated four km away. The way the elephants were being treated amounted to an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, according to the complaint.


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Jumbos trample two in Goalpara



Goalpara: Two persons were killed in attacks by wild elephants in Goalpara district on Friday.

Satish Rabha was trampled by a wild elephant at Ambuk Bahbari village under Dhupdhara police station in the district early on Friday after he came in front of a herd of 25 to 30 jumbos that was on its way to forests in south Kamrup.

In another incident, Manoj Hajong lost his life when he and his brother Vidyadhar tried to stop a wild elephant from devouring their harvest in a village under Rongjuli forest range.

However, Vidyadhar managed to escape.

Villagers said the jumbo has attacked and killed several people in the past but the forest department had not taken any step to control the animal.

Rongjuli forest range officer B. Das visited both sites and announced Rs 5,000 each to the families of the victims to carry out their last rites.

"We have taken different measures to send back the elephant to the hills in Meghalaya but it is so big and restless that we have been unable to bring it under control even by using two domesticated jumbos," Das said.


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Chhattisgarh: Nod for prosecution sought over reckless handling, neglect of elephant



RAIPUR: Distressed over the “reckless” handling and neglect of an elephant nicknamed ‘Sonu’ that is in captivity since December 2015, wildlife enthusiast Nitin Singhvi has sought approval from the Department of Personnel and Training to prosecute Indian Forest Services officers in Chhattisgarh.

A 60-day mandatory notice has consequently been given by him to Director (Wildlife Preservation-cum-ADG Wildlife), Additional Chief Secretary (Forest department) and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife).

Sonu was balmed for killing five people, damaging homes and crops. Officials keep him in captivity ostensibly to minimise human-animal conflict.

The High Court, that intervened on Singhvi’s plea, found that the tusker was being neglected and had ordered proper treatment for its injuries. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) had sent doctors from Kerala to treat Sonu.

The AWBI had recommended strong action against those found guilty besides suggesting that the tusker be released in its habitat.

In October 2015, PCCF (Wildlife) BN Dwivedi had instructed that the elephant be released after treatment. However, the three officers continue to violate the orders. “The hapless elephant continues to be in captivity of the forest department,” Singhvi told TNIE.

On conviction, the senior officials will be punishable for imprisonment of 3-7 years besides the punitive fines.

Singhvi sought approval for prosecution under Section 197 of CrPC and, similarly, a notice of 60 days has been served under Section 55 of the Wildlife Act.


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Assam Rifles nabs elephant poacher with arms in Nagaland



The Wokha battalion of Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR(North) conducted a search operation at Meshangpen, Sanis Wokha district and during the search Assam Rifles troops apprehended one elephant poacher along with illegal arms and ammunition.

The nabbed poacher was identified as Nchumbemo Jami and security personnel recovered one 303 Rifle with magazine, five live cartridge of 303 and one mobile phone from him.

The poacher was handed over to Sanis Police Station.

An FIR has also been lodged in Sanis Police Station.


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Jumbo conflict deepens



Goalpara: The man-elephant conflict in Goalpara district has worsened with six deaths and 10 injuries within the first five months this year.

A middle-aged man from Solmari Kalyanpur under Agia police station died in such an attack on Thursday.

Sushil Rabha, who went to cut bamboo behind his house, suddenly faced the jumbo devouring jackfruit from a tree in his neighbour's house. Though the man tried to escape under the cover of the bamboo bushes, the elephant chased and held him with its trunk and thrashed him on the ground.

Villagers then came together and tried to chase the elephant away and also informed the district forest office.

However, allegedly no forest personnel came to retrieve the body even several hours after the incident. Police arrived several hours later and retrieved the body and sent it for post mortem.

Residents of Kalyanpur village complained that the same elephant has caused large scale damage in the entire area under Agia police station.

"This particular animal does not move with its herd. Moreover, it moves fast and silently. We are petrified of the animal," a resident said.

According to forest department sources, a herd of 22 elephants has set up camp in the neighbouring Pancharatna Hill and occasionally visits adjacent areas like Makri, Solmari, Kalyanpur and Budhipara.

Reacting to Thursday's incident, divisional forest officer Acharya Goswami said most of the elephants moving around in Goalpara district have come down from Garo hills in Meghalaya but have failed to return to their original habitat as people in the border areas have blocked the elephant corridors.

"Men have not only encroached into forest areas but have also blocked the elephant corridors leading to maximum conflicts," Goswami said.

Sources alleged that it is the rampant felling of trees that makes these jumbos aggressive and they chase men whenever they find a chance.


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Bengal: Forest employee fleeing wild elephant falls to colleague’s bullet



A casual employee with the Bengal forest department was accidentally shot dead by a security guard while they were trying to escape a wild elephant at the Jaldapara National Park in Alipurduar district on Friday, officials said.

State forest minister Binoy Krishna Burman has ordered an inquiry into the death of the victim, identified as 24-year-old Marcos Oraon from Balalguri village.

Officials said four employees – two casual workers and two full-time forest guards – were patrolling the Hallapara zone of the national park that day when an elephant suddenly appeared in front of them. One of the forest guards, identified as Kabi Rava, opened fire in panic and fatally injured Oraon.

The victim was rushed to the Madarihat block hospital, and later shifted to the Alipurduar district hospital. He succumbed to his injuries there.

Forest department officials said none of Oraon’s colleagues could give an accurate account of the circumstances leading to the shooting because they were scrambling away in panic. “We will launch an inquiry after the post-mortem examination report comes through,” said Bimal Debnath, assistant wildlife warden of the national park. However, an official said on the condition of anonymity that the forest guard had fired at the elephant to save Oraon but shot him instead.

While the deceased was still pursuing his studies, Rava had been employed in the forest department since 1986.


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Elephant killed by train in Uttarakhand’s Tanda forests


The incident happened near Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) close to the Nagla bypass at around 2 am, according to forest officials.


A four-year-old female elephant died after being hit by a locomotive on the Lalkuan-Bareilly track on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, according to forest officials.

Loco pilot Rajesh Kumar and assistant Uday Kumar had taken train’s engine from Lalkuaon to Pantnagar at about 2 am, when they saw the pachyderm near Central institute of medicinal and aromatic plants (CIMAP) close to the Nagla bypass, forest officials said.

Despite hitting the brakes, the locomotive, in full speed, hit the elephant, they said.

In the morning, local women saw the elephant’s carcass and informed villagers, who in turn alerted forest officials.

Kalyani Negi, divisional forest officer, Tarai Central, said veterinary doctors are being rushed to the spot for an autopsy of the elephant and other procedures.

B S Mehta, Tanda range officer, said, “The elephant calf might have come to the area in search of fodder.”

This is the third incident this year in which four elephant’s carcass have been killed by trains in Tanda forest range.

In March, a six-year-old elephant was killed at the same place of the Sunday accident. Two elephant calves were killed in April near Haldi railway station on Lalkuan-Rudrapur track after being hit by Ranikhet Express.

The Tanda range falls on the border of Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar and has good population of pachyderms.




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Man killed in elephant attack in Chg's Korba district



Korba, May 27 A 60-year-old man died while his wife was injured when an elephant attacked them after entering their house in a village in Chhattisgarh's Korba district, a Forest official said today.

The incident occurred late last night when a herd of elephants stormed into Madai village, located around 250 kms away from the state capital.

"A tusker entered the house of Bodhan Singh (60) and his wife Pipariya Bai (54) who were asleep and attacked them," Divisional Forest Officer (Katghora) S Jagdishan said, adding that while Singh died immediately, his wife was severely injured.

He said a team of Forest personnel reached the spot after receiving information about the incident and chased away the jumbos.

"They rushed the injured woman to local primary health centre, where her condition was stated to be critical," the DFO said.

An instant relief amount of Rs 25,000 was given to the kin of the deceased while the remaining compensation of Rs 3.75 lakh will be disbursed within 15 days, he added.

Thickly forested northern Chhattisgarh region comprising Surguja, Korba, Raigarh, Jashpur, and Korea districts is notorious for human-elephantconflicts.


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Assam: 6 kg Nepal-bound ivory seized



The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Guwahati zonal unit has seized ivory weighing about 6 kg from two persons, including a contractual railway employee, near Guwahati Railway Station.

DRI officials said that this confirmed an elephant tusk smuggling trail from within a certain radius of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park to Nepal via the Chicken’s Neck corridor in West Bengal.

Wildlife crime investigators had a whiff of this trail when DRI detectives seized 12.41 kg of ivory from a bus in northern West Bengal’s Siliguri town on February 15.

“Acting on a tip-off, our officials caught two persons near Guwahati Railway Station about 1 p.m. on Saturday and seized 24 pieces of ivory weight 5.838 kg from them,” a DRI officer who declined to be identified said.

Railway employee involved

The two men were identified as Badrul Hussain of Hojai from central Assam and Suraj Kumar Das from West Bengal. Mr. Das is a contractual railway employee working as a coach attendant of the daily Howrah-Guwahati Saraighat Express train.

They were caught as Mr. Das was in the process of receiving the ivory package from Mr. Hussain.

Interrogation revealed that Mr. Hussain had received the package from an animal body parts trader in Hojai. Mr. Das was expected to deliver it to a dealer in New Jalpaiguri (railway station for Siliguri) for smuggling out to Nepal.

“Wildlife officials have confirmed the ivory was extracted from five adult and sub-adult elephants killed, in all likelihood, in Karbi Anglong district of central Assam,” the DRI officer said.

The hills of Karbi Anglong, adjoining Kaziranga National Park, is where animals take refuge when the rhino habitat with a large population of elephants is submerged during floods.

Officials said the 12 kg ivory seized in Siliguri earlier this year were sourced from north-eastern Assam’s Lakhimpur district, close to the border of Kaziranga’s Northern Range.


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