Coimbatore

Multi-pronged approach needed to protect elephants hit by speeding trains

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts have sought multi-pronged approach to protect elephants being hit by speeding trains.

Environmentalists said that the herd was not used to crossing the track at that place and that it was a path used by lone tusker ‘Maharaj’ that was captured on Sunday and its two companions over the last three days.

The animals usually crossed the track near Marapalam, near the military camp and also near a medicine godown.

“Since ‘Operation Madukkarai Maharaj’ to trap ‘Maharaj’ began, it joined two other elephants and said to have crossed the track near the place where the accident took place.

The scent of elephant movement caused by urine and dung, the six-member herd could have mistook it to be a path used by jumbos and used the path to cross the track on Monday,” says environmentalist Umesh Marudhachalam, who is tracking elephants at Madukkarai for five years.

Study

Founder of Nature Conservation Society N.I. Jalaluddin said that forest department should study the causative factors that made elephants come out of the forest as this was not an elephant corridor.

An adult needs 200 kg to 300 kg of food and 100-150 litres of water a day.

Making fodder and water available in the forest will prevent animals coming out of the forest and getting hurt,” he said.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Landscape Coordinator D. Boominathan observed that the reserve forest was only on one side of the track.

Trenches

He suggested that the forest and railways should dig trenches along the forest boundary to prevent elephants from straying out. The terrain close to the track at Madukkarai has roads, rocks and streams.

“The proposed barrier should vary in its nature to suit the terrain,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 6:51:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/Multi-pronged-approach-needed-to-protect-elephants-hit-by-speeding-trains/article14434417.ece

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