Uttarakhand forest watcher crushed to death by wild elephant in Kumaon
A forest watcher was crushed to death by a wild elephant on Wednesday in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region’s Haldwani forest division while on patrolling duty, forest officials said.
“One of our forest watchers was on patrol with other forest officials in Haldwani forest division in Kumaon. An elephant suddenly appeared and trampled him to death. Other forest officials drove away the tusker and recovered the body of the forest watcher,” said Parag Madhukar Dhakate, conservator of forests, western circle, Kumaon.
Bhuwan Ram, 51, a resident of Lakhamandi, Chaurgalia was on patrol in Karakot beat of the forest division when attacked. Other officials tried to save him by raising an alarm but by that time Bhuwan had lost his life, officials said.
“Our department has sanctioned ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh for the deceased’s family and officials on patrolling have been advised to be more alert these days,” Dhakate said.
This is not the first incident of elephants killing people in the hill state in the recent past. In May this year, a 65-year-old old labourer working in Chilla range of Rajaji National Park was mauled to death by a tusker.
Last year in November, a 52-year-old man died after a wild elephant used his trunk to pull him out of a bus he was travelling in, and flung him out in the air near Corbett Tiger Reserve. In the same month, a wild elephant killed two people, including a woman in Haridwar district while on a rampage in two villages. In June last year, a 60-year-old man was crushed to death by a wild elephant in the forests of Kaladungi area in Nainital district.
Uttarakhand has 1,797 elephants, including 1,035 in Corbett landscape and 309 in Rajaji landscape according to forest officials. Man-elephant conflict is on the rise in the state. The aggression of elephants in Uttarakhand’s Corbett landscape, Rajaji National Park landscape and Tarai areas is becoming a major concern for wildlife officials. People are killed by elephants on a regular basis and elephants also get killed due to electrocution and train-hits.