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Shrinking of elephant corridor increases human-animal conflicts in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Oct 13, 2017 19:38 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,elephant corridor,man-animal conflicts

Three major elephant corridors of Golapar, Fatehpur-Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani have seen mushrooming of human settlements, officials say.(HT File)

Human-animal conflicts have become common in Kumaon’s Golapar region and its adjoining areas in Haldwani with at least three people being killed in elephant attacks in the past six months in Pantnagar, Haldwani and Ramnagar.

What is worrying is that the human-animal conflicts are taking place in Golapar, once an age-old elephant corridor, said a senior forest official.

Increase in human settlements along the corridor has led to encroachment and that in turn have led to more elephant attacks, said Parag Madhukar Dhakate, conservator of forest (western division).

On 30 September, Bhim Singh, a farmer from Devla Malla village was killed by an elephant while he was working on his field. On Thursday, his mother was also attacked by an elephant in the same area.

Apart from this, seven elephants have died in the Kumaon region in the last six months due to natural reasons and electrocution.

The three major elephant corridors of Golapar, Fatehpur-Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani have seen mushrooming of human settlements, cutting the age-old path of the elephants, Dhakate said.

The Surai- Kilpura elephant corridor near Khatima is also witnessing an increase of human settlement, which is a cause of worry, he said.

“There are11 functional corridors in Uttarakhand, but human activities are increasing around the age-old corridors.”

Elephants are distance migratory animal with sharp memory, Dhakate said.

“An elephant goes into a state of shock on seeing people around, apart from this, many people are venturing inside the jungles to collect firewood and this increases human-animal conflicts,” he said.

“Planting of sugarcane in fields around the forests also attracts the elephants.”

Mukesh Padiyar, a farmer in Devla Talla village, said people in Golapar live in constant fear of the elephants and the forest department has done little to bring respite to the people. “We want proper patrolling and measures to keep elephants at bay.”

Dhakate, however, denies that the forest department does not conduct proper patrolling.

“We have drawn up plans for patrolling in the areas that are prone to human-animal conflicts and the work is on,” he said.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 19:38 IST