Elephant attacks claim 147 lives in Coimbatore Forest Division in 12 years, 176 jumbos die 

Updated - August 14, 2023 01:23 pm IST

Published - August 13, 2023 11:50 pm IST - COIMBATORE

Rise in the elephant population, disturbances in migration paths are among the reasons cited by the Coimbatore Forest Department for the continuing negative interactions between humans and elephants.

Rise in the elephant population, disturbances in migration paths are among the reasons cited by the Coimbatore Forest Department for the continuing negative interactions between humans and elephants. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Coimbatore Forest Division witnessed 147 deaths due to elephant attacks from 2011 to 2022, during which a total of 176 pachyderms also died of various reasons.

Rise in the elephant population, disturbances in migration paths, changes in land use patterns and agricultural practices and linear infrastructure developments are among the reasons cited by the Forest Department for the continuing negative interactions between humans and elephants.

The Boluvampatti forest range reported the highest number of human deaths (46), followed by Coimbatore (36), Periyanaickenpalayam (23), Sirumugai (13), Madukkarai (11), Mettupalayam (10) and Karamadai (8) during the 12-year period.

As per a study, on an average, 12 human deaths and 13 elephant deaths occur in the division in a year. According to the department, over 85 villages and small towns are severely affected due to the conflicts, and incidents of elephants straying out of forests were constantly increasing.

Of the 147 human deaths reported in the 12 years, 102 were reported outside the forest when the animals strayed into human habitations in search of fodder and water. Between January 2022 and June 2023, 7,566 incidents of elephants straying from forests were reported in the division. Among these, lone males made 4,686 visits to villages during the period, female group 1,497, male group 1,184, female with calf 150 and lone female 49. Incidents of straying peaked between September and November. During 2016-17, the number of elephants straying into human settlements was 1,806, as per the data shared by the department. 

As per the crop raiding pattern of elephants observed by the department, in Coimbatore division, the pachyderms widely targeted banana (53%), followed by coconut (33%), maize (6%), sugar cane (3%) and other crops (5%).

The department paid a total of ₹1.64 crore as compensation, of which ₹62.5 lakh was for 14 human deaths, ₹14.5 lakh for 36 human injuries and ₹84.46 lakh for 632 crop damages in the last financial year. The total compensation paid from 2011 to March 2023 stood at ₹11.35 crore.  

According to officials, the high number of human deaths, elephant casualties, damages to crops and properties prompted the department to form the Boundary Night Patrol Team, a specialised unit dedicated to minimising negative interactions between humans and elephants.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.