Kerala

Efforts on to drive back herd to forest

Protest over killing of tribesman by wild elephant at Aralam

Amid protests by local residents, including those in the tribal resettlement area at Aralam, following the death of an Adivasi in an attack by a wild elephant, the Forest Department has initiated measures, including use of a drone camera, to drive the herd back to the forest area.

Chappili Krishnan was trampled to death on December 8 by the wild elephant that had strayed into the tribal settlement.

According to Forest Department officials, the elephant was one among the herd that entered from the forest area that forms part of the Aralam wildlife sanctuary.

The incident occurred in Block 10 of the Aralam Farm before it was bifurcated to set up the tribal resettlement area.

Efforts to drive back the herd to the forests were initiated in the wake of protests by the local residents, especially Adivasis, following the latest and the second fatal wild elephant attack at Aralam this year.

12 elephants in herd

“The efforts to drive the herd of wild elephants back to the forest at Aralam began on December 12 and it will take a few days to complete the work,” said Sunil Pameedi, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), here on Thursday. There are 11 or 12 elephants in the herd, he said adding that some of them are in the tribal resettlement area and some in the farm area. A drone camera is being used to track the elephants’ movements and identify the members.

“It is difficult for the forest personnel to enter the bushes to drive the elephants out of the farm and resettlement areas,” he added.

Around 40 forest personnel are involved in the efforts. They will burst crackers to force the elephants out of the area. Forest officials also have plans to use rubber bullets if the traditional methods fail. The drive will continue till the elephants go back to the forest, they said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 12:19:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/efforts-on-to-drive-back-herd-to-forest/article25736197.ece

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