The radio-collared device will provide updates of the real-time locations of the elephant herds and help forest department officials to track their movement Credit: Representational Image

Agartala: In a bid to avert human-elephant conflicts, Tripura government is considering to start using radio-collars for rogue elephants across the state.

Speaking with EastMojo, chief wildlife warden and Tripura biodiversity board member secretary Dr DK Sharma said that the ‘radio collaring’ device would be procured from outside by the state government.

“We will radio-collar the herds of the wild elephants across the state. This will help in tracking the movement of the wild elephant. The device will provide updates of the real-time locations of the herds and help the forest department officials to track their movement and take measures accordingly,” Sharma said.

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He also said that this is for the first time in Tripura, elephants will be radio-collared by the forest department. Currently, there are around 42 wild elephants and 60 captive across the state.

“A survey is underway to identify the total number of wild elephants in the state spread across the eight districts. However, mostly elephants are seen in two districts — Khowai and Gomati district of the state,” Sharma added.

He also said that earlier West Bengal government had used this technique of radio-collaring the herds in Dooars and parts of South Bengal to avert the increasing human-elephant conflicts.

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Tripura has reported a number of human-elephant conflicts in the last few years. In May last year, one named Chitta Mohan Debbarma (62) lost his life after being stamped by a wild elephant at Bidamohan Choudhury para under Uttar Ghilatoli ADC village in Kalyanpur under Khowai district. Many such incidents of elephant attack were reported in the past.

On December 27, the body of a baby elephant was recovered from a deep jungle in Watilong Tila area of South Ghilatali village panchayat under Kalyanpur police station of Khowai district.

Earlier on July 15 last year, union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change Babul Supriyo in reply to a query made by West Tripura MP, Pratima Bhoumik said that there are a total of 9,651 elephants in the northeastern states, while Tripura has 102 elephants till 2017.

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“The forest department had initiated to install beekeeping devices in the agricultural field to keep the herds of elephants away from the field. The elephants fear bees, so it keeps them away from the inhabitants. We have also suggested the people to start beekeeping for generating livelihood and keeping the herds away at the same time”, chief wildlife warden said.

Apart from that the forest department has also made arrangements of adequate fodder reserves in the jungles to meet the thirst and hunger of wild elephants. Bamboo, banana plantations were made by the officials in the forest along with check dams constructed within the forest.

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