Alarmed over the deaths of four adult elephants in north Bengal due to electrocution, the West Bengal Forest Department has taken a slew of measures which includes giving cash awards to people who inform forest officials about such deadly traps for the pachyderms.
“We will not disclose the identity of the persons who give us information about the traps. The Bengal government will recognise the efforts of those who help us in protection of elephants and give them an honorarium,” Benoy Krishna Burman, State’s Forest Minister told The Hindu .
Mr Burman said that despite a stable population of elephants in north Bengal, the forest department has to deal with a number of issues including man-animal conflict, attacks on elephants when they cross over to Nepal and the death after they are hit by a running train.
Chief Conservator of Forest, Northern Region P.T. Bhutia told The Hindu that circumstantial evidence and the preliminary reports of post-mortem indicate that all the elephants died of electrocution.
While two adult elephants were reported dead near Panighata under the Kurseong forest division of the Darjeeling district on October 18, on October 20 two elephants were found dead near Panjhora in the adjoining Jalpaiguri district.