New Delhi (NVI): The cases of human-animal conflict in India are not new and as we delve deeper into the 21st century, such occurrences don’t cease to surprise us with every passing year.
With expanding concrete jungles, we can’t turn a blind eye to nature. A sensible infrastructure and sensitising people or tourists in wildlife areas is the key to peaceful co-existence.
Here are two such instances that explain why we need special care in wildlife areas and how human infrastructure creates a hindrance to wildlife sometimes.
In an old video shared by an Indian Forest Officer, a herd of elephants is seen pushing two cars in the Bhakrakot area, close to the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) in Uttarakhand.
The video shows an intense road-rage moment as some pachyderms try to make a way for their herd and little ones. In fact, the cars which were pushed by the elephants belonged to tourists who had parked them in the forest area without any valid permission.
What a gentle attitude shown by the elephant herd.. just imagine, what would have been the reaction from humans, if they were in position to use some power in such situation..!!
Though, locals in this area are quite sensitised towards animals.. https://t.co/yfdbwxBJ4T
— Surender Mehra IFS (@surenmehra) June 30, 2020
However, no one is reported to be injured in the incident and after pushing the cars to some extent, the herd comprising nearly a dozen elephants leave the scene.
In the second video, a mother elephant and her calf can be seen struggling to climb up a road. Such construction of the road in a wildlife area makes it difficult for these animals to pass.
While the mother is able to climb with some effort, the calf is left behind. The baby elephant is finally able to climb on the green patch above the road with the help of his mother, who uses her trunk to pull him up.
Hope the developers learn a lesson… https://t.co/WQPJ9FIUmv
— Sandeep Tripathi, IFS (@sandeepifs) July 3, 2020
The whole scene is captured by a lorry driver on a mobile phone in Kerala.
It is pertinent to mention here that there are wildlife corridors in the country to take care of the animal-human conflict. Yet, data from the environment ministry has shown that by 2018, on average at least 80 elephants were being killed annually by electrocution, poaching, train accidents, and poisoning.
Elephant, being a large herbivorous animal, needs vast areas to roam: browsing, foraging, moving from place to place in search of food and water with the changing seasons.
According to a report, wildlife corridors, used by various species to migrate, breed and feed, are increasingly becoming relevant as essential tools for wildlife conservation. Rapid increase in industrial and infrastructural development, especially around forests, has resulted in widespread habitat fragmentation and isolation.
There are 88 identified elephant corridors in India. Of these, 12 are in northwestern India, 20 in central India, 14 in northern West Bengal, 22 in northeastern India and 20 in southern India. Of the total, 77.3 per cent of the corridors are being regularly used by elephants. The least fragmentation was noted in southern India.