•      Sat Jul 13 2024

Human-elephant conflict takes toll on both sides in eastern terai

Birtamod, Jan 9: Jhapa and Morang districts have witnessed increasing conflict between human and elephants, which have taken toll on both sides.

In the last two years, 12 people were killed while 13 maimed in elephant attacks. Six elephants were also killed during the same period, according to Division Forest Office, Jhapa.

Herds of elephant stalk settlements nearby forest for food. And, people’s efforts to chase away the pachyderm turn into ugly situation- losing lives in elephant’s attack.

The people are victimized even during morning walk, and grass and fodder collection in forest.

Wild elephant damaged house in Jhapa district, 2024.

Researchers on elephant argue that expanding human settlements is gradually encroaching upon forests, thereby infuriate elephants. In the last six decades, the forests have receded much, according to Shankar Luitel.

Researcher Luitel viewed, “Elephant which has sharp memory and wants to stroll freely finds it difficult with receding habitant. It evidently angers him, resulting into damages of human settlements.”

Ward chair of Mechinagar-4, Arjun Karki, however, said they had adopted policy of human-elephant coexistence to minimize elephant menace. He viewed, “Elephant is not an aggressive animal. But when it feels threatened on its habitat and food, it certainly retaliates.”

According to him, policy of human-wild life coexistence was put in place at Bahundangi which has recorded many cases of human-elephant conflict. #Nepal

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