‘Onti Kombu’ — The Tusker that met with a tragic end

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Meet Onti Kombu, the infamous single tusk elephant that used to roam the forests of Bandipur in the Nilgiris. If you have visited Bandipur before 2009, chances are that you would have seen, or atleast heard of this elephant. He was known for his temper and for killing 10-12 people on the Mysore-Ooty highway. Most people thought of him as a crazy rogue elephant who was intolerant of humans.

During my 3-month stint as a naturalist at Jungle Lodges and … Read More

Innocent Victim — Elephant Calf Railway Kill, Walayar, Kerala

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Tragically unresolved and burning issue of the deaths of wild elephants around Walayar, Palakkad, Kerala, due to train hits. This is not a freak accident — during the last two years, this little calf is the eighth such victim of our carelessness and negligence. With both the Indian Railways and the Forest Department busy blaming each other over this issue, the end result is this emotionally wrenching scene of the the whole mourning herd standing guard and not allowing anybody … Read More

Erode District In Tamil Nadu Had 23 Elephant Deaths In 2011

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Erode district in Tamil Nadu, comprising of the two forest divisions of Erode and Sathyamangalam, recorded 23 elephant deaths in 2011. The majority of the deaths were due to natural causes according to the Erode Conservator of Forests. Three died due to electrocution, one was killed by poachers and 19 died due to natural causes (illness). The large population of elephants in the area causes frequent man animal conflicts and the forest department has erected around 239 km of solar … Read More

Three Elephants Electrocuted Near Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary

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Three elephants were electrocuted near Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh when a high tension electric wire fell on them. The 11,000 volt electric wire fell on the elephants when they uprooted an electric pole. The elephants were burnt alive. Forest officials are probing the deaths though, as these elephants had damaged agricultural produce and farmers had been demanding compensation from the government. The elephants will be examined in a post-mortem. … Read More

Regular Crop Raider Tusker Radio-collared in Wayanad, Kerala

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A 40-year old tusker, which is said to be a regular crop raider in the Sulthan Bathery area of Wayanad, has been radio collared. The radio collar will help monitor the animals movements and help warn villagers about its movements. Trackers had spotted the animal in the Arakunchi forest and though it tried to evade the trackers, the forest officials kept up the chase and eventually tranquilized the elephant. An expert team then took biometrical measurements of the elephant before … Read More

Kin of Man Trampled by Elephants Receive Rs. 2.5 lakhs as Compensation

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The kin of seventy-year old Muniappa of Thinnathur Village in Krishnagiri district will receive Rs. 2.5 lakhs as compensation from the Tamil Nadu Government. He was trampled to death on May 25th. The forest department will provide Rs. 1.5 lakhs and the rest will come from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The Government has also directed that crop damage caused by elephants be assessed and compensation provided. The forest department estimates the damage to crops in the financial year 2010-2011 … Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict and its Mitigation: Q&A with Sanjay Gubbi

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Is human–elephant conflict on the rise?

Yes, it seems to be.  We have failed to reduce crop depredation loss and injury to human life, which has made people living around wildlife habitats more hostile towards conservation.

As a consequence, there has been a constant increase in the retaliatory killing of elephants. In Karnataka alone 16 elephants were killed in 2006–07, 46 in 2008–09 and 41 in 2009–10. The compensation paid by the Karnataka Forest Department for loss to life and … Read More