Elephant Crossing, Bandipur

Ramki Sreenivasan
An elephant herd crossing the road in Bandipur, Karnataka.

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Driven by economic development, demand for better roads is also being fuelled by the overall increase in vehicle numbers, currently growing at 10% per annum. Many of these roads pass through India’s Protected Areas (PAs), posing a serious conservation threat.

An elephant herd crossing the road (NH 67, Gundlupet – Ooty) in Bandipur National Park after a patient wait. Ironically, even inside a protected area, these animals don’t seem to have right of way inspite of the carefully placed boards near crossings animals prefer. A group of ill-informed motorcyclists were off their vehicles trying to take pictures of the herd which had lined up to cross the road. Soon many vehicles crowded the road stopping traffic and preventing the elephants from crossing. A few employees of Jungle Lodges managed to clear the crowd to allow the elephant to nervously hurry across. Luckily, thanks to a hard-fought conservation battle, this highway has been closed for night traffic between 9pm and 6am.

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