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Elephant crushes man, thrust on caution while moving through forest areas

The death once again highlights the rising man-animal conflict in the region.

dehradun Updated: Jun 28, 2018 22:19 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
On February 8, 2018, an elephant killed a youth from Dehradun, who had gone inside the jungle in Thano range for a picnic with his friends. (HT File Photo/Representative image)

A postal department employee was killed when his bike hit an elephant near Kaladhungi in Nainital district.

Balam Singh Mehra was travelling to Kaladhungi in the dark when the accident took place on Wednesday night.

Station house officer of Kaladhungi police station Naresh Chauhan said that Mehra was travelling around 8.30 pm with a friend when his bike hit the elephant. The irate elephant attacked Mehra and crushed his head leading to his death. His friend did not sustain any injuries during the attack.

Mehra’s death once again highlights the rising man-animal conflict in the region. On February 8, 2018, an elephant killed a youth from Dehradun, who had gone inside the jungle in Thano range for a picnic with his friends.

On October 23, 2017, Ashok Kumar, who worked as a labourer at the Pantnagar University, was killed by an elephant in the Tanda range in US Nagar. Prior to this, a man who had gone into the forest to cut grass had also been killed by elephants in the Pantnagar forests.

On September 30, 2017, a farmer Bhim Singh of Devla Malla village, Haldwani, was killed by a jumbo while he was working in the fields. A few days later, his mother was also attacked by an elephant. On September 18, 2017, elephants attacked four persons in Ranipur, Haridwar, and seriously injured them.

Human settlements have sprung up in major elephant corridors such as Golapar, Fatehpur Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani and this has obstructed the age-old paths taken by elephants for foraging.

Parag Madhukar Dhakate, conservator of the western division, said that man-animal conflict has increased because of several reasons, including humans coming close to the forests for habitation. “The natural corridors taken by the elephants have encroached by humans, though we have been trying to keep them open. Apart from this, many people go inside the forests and it’s a huge risk as forests are the territory of the wild animals.” He said that work is on to sensitise people about man-animal conflict and how to avoid it.

Rakesh Bisht, a resident of Kunwarpur village, blamed the forest department for lapses. “Our crops have been destroyed by elephants many times, but the forest department does not conduct proper patrolling.”

Social activist Hemant Gauniya said that there was a need for caution while venturing into forests. “One has to be cautious about the presence of wild animals and negligence would lead to attacks,” he said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 22:19 IST