Jharkhand to have mobile squads to chase wild elephants

July 24th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, July 24 (IANS) The Jharkhand forest department will constitute mobile squads to chase away wild elephants who create havoc in villages around the forests in the state, said an official Thursday. “As per plan, we will constitute 15 mobile squads equipped with weapons and cell phones to chase the elephant herds,” a forest official told IANS here.

Each squad, expected to be constituted by the year end, is likely to have 10 to 15 members including villagers and forest officials. The squads are likely to start functioning from early next year, the official said.

“The mobile squad will inform the villagers about movement of elephants and remain in contact with the headquarter. The squad will move to places where the elephant herds are spotted,” he added.

The squad members will be trained in tackling elephant attacks and chasing them away.

Several incidents of deaths and destruction of property have been reported in the state as elephants create havoc in the villages.

According to forest department figures, more than 400 people have been killed and 700 injured in the elephant attacks in the state during the past six years.

However, the current census reveals that the population of elephants has declined in the state. According to the census conducted in May this year, the elephant population declined to 622 from 772.

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