Attacks by wild elephants continue in villages along the India-Bhutan border in Assam's Udalguri district with three people being trampled to death within a week this month and several houses being damaged.
"Almost every day, elephant herds are entering villages and damaging houses and crops. People are scared and worried. Villagers are being attacked and killed by the animals in their desperate attempt to chase away the herds.”
On Sunday, Harka Bahadur Sunjel was killed by elephants at No. 1 Samrang near Indo- Bhutan border. Four days after Harka Bahadur’s death, Mahadev Orang (60) another villager, was killed in an elephant attack today morning.
With herds of elephants entering human settlements from the hills of Bhutan and adjoining forests almost every day, forest officials are left with little resources to mitigate the conflict.
"It is very difficult to deploy adequate staff at all places as elephants are entering from multiple locations almost every night. Whatever resources we have at our disposal, including 'kunkis' (trained elephants) and firecrackers, are not sufficient to effectively drive out elephants from villages and farmlands at several places," a forest official said. Bagh said in many cases, desperate villagers had to chase away the elephants, putting their lives in danger.
"Destruction of forest cover is the reason behind the rise in human-animal conflict. Unless the forest cover is saved, the problem is only going to aggravate in future," Bagh added.