Elephants spread havoc in West Bengal village

November 21st, 2007 - 5:08 pm ICT by admin  

Mangaldihi, (West Bengal), Nov 21 (ANI): Two persons were injured in a village in West Bengals Birbhum District while chasing away a herd of elephants, that went on rampage in paddy fields.
Mangaldihi villagers said these types of incidents are common in the area.
Tuskers are forced by their dwindling natural habitat to emerge from time to time in search of food, and therefore, come into conflict with the village population.
“I saw an elephant around 6.30, it was drinking water in the pond, I informed others about it, and then, we also informed the police,” said Sadhan Late, a villager.
The forest department has appealed to villagers not to provoke or harm the beasts as it is taking measures to move the elephants back into the jungle.
“Our team, comprising of district officials is coming and we are trying to move the elephants back into the forest,” said Sirajur Haq, a forest official.
India has been struggling to tackle with the problem of shrinking wildlife and encroaching human habitats.
Home to 50,000 elephants a century ago, just 26,400 elephants were found roaming national parks and forests in 2002. Worse, the first comprehensive elephant census published in 2005 showed a steep drop in numbers to just 21,300 elephants.
A recent survey by the Federal Environment Ministry reported a steady depletion of forestland in 11 major wildlife reserves since 1997.
According to the survey, only 20 percent of India’s landmass is forested and just 120,000 square kilometres (46,340 square miles) — less than four percent of the country — of that is suitable for elephants.(ANI)

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