Guwahati: Good Samaritans in the Golaghat district of Assam are working hard to reduce human-elephant conflict and save hundreds of casualties on both sides each year.
A few truck owners and drivers, with the help of the locas in the Doigrang tea estate in the Letekujan village of Golaghat district’s Numaligarh area, on Tuesday brought truckloads of banana trees, bananas, jackfruit, salt and other food to feed a herd of wild elephants that strayed into the human settlement from the nearby Nambor-Doigrang Wildlife Sanctuary in search of food and water a couple of days ago.
The herd of wild elephants had been wandering in the tea estate and nearby villages for the past few days in search of food when the group of men arranged food for them from the nearby areas in their trucks. Locals too lent their support to the group of men in carrying out the noble initiative.
The herd of starving wild elephants was seen accepting the food items from the people happy and without any fear.
“We saw that the herd of elephants were roaming around in the area for the past few days but got nothing to eat. As they were starving, we decided to arrange food for them from the nearby villages and jungles as we had our trucks. All the villagers helped us a lot,” a truck driver said.
“We have been witnessing a rising trend in the human-elephant conflict in Assam for the past few years. The jumbos enter our villages and wreak havoc and both sides have to suffer. Today, we, a group of 17-18 people did this with the help of the local villagers and the elephants went back to the jungles without causing any harm to the humans or destruction to property. We, humans, have destroyed their habitat and if all of us contribute a bit for the well-being of the jumbos, then the near never-ending problem may end soon,” he opined.
Assam is home to around 5,719 Asian elephants, the second largest elephant population in India. With the fast depletion of the forest cover in Assam and the shrinking of elephant habitats in the state, cases of human-elephant conflicts are rising in the state with at least 971 people being killed by wild elephants and 926 elephants getting killed due to various causes since 2010.
A herd of wild elephants, which strayed out of the nearby jungles along the Assam-Meghalaya border in Assam’s Goalpara district, trampled to death three persons, including a mother-son duo, on Sunday last.
A 40-year-old woman was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Assam’s Tamulpur district along the Indo-Bhutan international border on August 8 last.
Earlier on July 24, a 26-year-old man was seriously injured in an elephant attack in Guwahati’s Satgaon area. The incident took place near the ‘Sani’ temple in the Amsing Jorabat area on the outskirts of the city.
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