Assam Northeast

Human-elephant conflict rises in Assam in last few years

The man-elephant conflict has been rising in Assam in the last few years due to shrinking of forest cover. The forest department has taken a slew of initiatives to curb the conflict.

On September 17, 2022, One person was killed and five others injured by a herd of elephants in Khairani village of Baksa district of Assam.

The pachyderms had come out of a nearby forest in search of food. When the villagers tried to frighten the animals away, the elephants attacked.

A few days earlier, a wild elephant was killed by a goods train near Hawaipur in Hojai district of Assam on September 8.

The elephant was crossing the railway tracks when the accident took place. Though it is required for trains going through elephant corridors to slow down, the rule is usually flouted, according to locals.

In the past 10 years, human-elephant conflict has claimed the lives of 800 people and around 250 pachyderms, according to government data. Now a new project that uses sounds that spook the elephants could be able to reduce the conflict to a large extent.

Last year, 70 elephants died in the state. While 24 of these deaths were due to natural causes, three were due to electrocution, three because of poisoning, four were in train accidents, one due to injury, 18 due to lightning, and 17 because of “unknown” causes, official numbers show. During the same period, 61 people were killed by elephants.

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