Climate change increasing human-animal conflict: conservationists
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Hahim: A 25-year-old man named Political Rabha survived a wild elephant attack at Mousuwa village in the Hahim beat office of the Singra Forest Range Office in the West Kamrup Divisional Forest Office on Saturday evening.

The incident is particularly noteworthy given the increasing conflicts between humans and wild elephants in Assam and the Boko area, especially along the Assam-Meghalaya border, due to the rise in deforestation and the resulting scarcity of food for the elephants. 

The man narrowly escapes as an elephant chases him in Assam’s Boko area

On Saturday morning, according to Rabha’s neighbour Ajay Rabha, a herd of wild elephants, including babies, crossed their village of Mousuwa. Later in the afternoon, a male, female, and baby elephant entered a nearby banana garden and began feeding and destroying it. Rabha and other villagers went to chase the elephants away, but the female elephant chased Rabha and nearly squeezed him. “But surprisingly, Political Rabha survived the attack,” added Ajay Rabha.

Ajay Rabha also mentioned that elephant attacks are unfortunately a common occurrence in the area, with frequent damage to gardens, houses, and other property, as well as loss of life.

Regarding Political Rabha’s physical condition, Ajay stated, “He was partially injured, but without any medical check-ups we cannot say for certain. He is a very poor guy, so he didn’t even visit the hospital despite our request. Now he is taking rest in his house only.”

When asked about the Forest Department’s activities in the area, Ajay said that they only occasionally visit the villages after elephants have already caused damage.

The Divisional Forest Officer of West Kamrup Division, Dimpy Bora, stated, “We will investigate this terrible incident. I have already ordered the Singra Range Officer to gather more details and to increase patrols in the area.”

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Bora also announced, “We will soon organize an awareness meeting on ‘man-elephant conflict’ in collaboration with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature-India), Aaranyak, and Elephant Foundation within a week. We will cover the people of Singra and Bondapara Forest range areas, where we will distribute high-quality torch lights and firecrackers to the public for their safety.”

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