Two Women Killed By Wild Elephants In Chhattisgarh
According to information obtained from Chudamani Singh, S.D.O., Sitapur, two people were trampled to death by a herd of 21 wild elephants on May 21, 2017.
The two women, Rijo bai, age 35 and Mungo bai, age 50, had entered the forest near their village to collect tendu leaves. They were residents of Lalitpur Gram Panchayat in Sitapur tehsil of Sarguja district. The families of the victims received immediate monetary compensation of Rs. 25,000 after the post mortems were conducted. As per the Chhattisgarh government rule, compensation of rupees four lakhs will be issued to each of the families.
Escalating Human–Elephant Conflict has understandably created unrest amongst villagers in Chhattisgarh. “A total number of 209 elephants have been recorded in various forest divisions of Chhattisgarh in a day. A large number of calves have also been observed in the forests of Chhattisgarh, suggesting a gradual increase in the elephant population. It is extremely necessary that the government takes some concrete steps for the protection of the elephants and safety of people, or else we may have to face huge losses in the near future ,” said Sajal Madhu, a Project Leader under Sanctuary’s Mud on Boots Project, who works to record and mitigate HEC in the Raigarh district of the state.
The Asian elephant is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The IUCN lists the conservation of elephant habitats, revitalization of wildlife corridors and mitigation of HEC as priorities for the protection of the species. Though India hosts the majority of the global population of Asian elephants, HEC is a rising issue across elephant-range states, with dozens of people and pachyderms losing their lives in the conflict every year.
The Sanctuary Nature Foundation is lobbying for state action to effectively address HEC in Odisha via the Giant Refugees campaign, and is documenting incidents of HEC in Chhattisgarh, which until now has been poorly recorded, through the work of Project Leader Sajal Madhu.
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