At least 17 people have died in man-elephant conflicts in Goalpara district this year. In most of the incidents, the people of the district hold a huge male jumbo without tusk, which has been named as ‘Laden’, responsible for the killing of the villagers.
In order to evolve a plan to deal with the ongoing elephant-human conflict in Goalpara, a meeting has been convened in the office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Dev Prakash Bankhwal at Panjabari in Guwahati on June 25, 2018. The meeting will start at 9.30 am.
It is a known fact that due to deforestation, the wild elephants of the forest areas in Garo Hills of Meghalaya come down to plain areas in neighbouring Goalpara district in search of food and face human habitation.
According to a top level official who recently went to Goalpara to see the ground reality there along with a veterinarian of the Assam State Zoo stated, “Finding their movement, passages blocked, the elephants are reacting aggressively and the loner is seeing all human beings in its sight as potential threat (and hence, making a charge at any individual human in its sight).”
The official also stated, “The growing of villages in sizes and number has resulted in blocking of elephants among the various forest patches and water bodies in Goalpara. To save the depredation from wild elephants, the villagers located in all the directions also drive the elephants away from their villages.”
“Certain deaths could have been averted, had there been informed behavioural response from the victims,” the official added.
“We don’t have an effective alert system in place,” he stated.
He also stated, “Illegal fish catchers also drive away the elephants from the Urpeed beel, which is being visited by wild elephants.”
It is hoped that the meeting in Guwahati would help find out a solution to all the issues.