|Karnataka witnesses highest elephant deaths
By Lawrence Milton, TNN | Feb 6, 2013, 08.27 PM IST
MYSORE: The state has witnessed the highest number of elephant deaths in this season, compared to the last six years.
nine months between April and December 2012, a total of 158 elephants
have died and about 18 people were killed in elephant attacks in the
state. The figure is the highest ever since 2007-08. Majority of the
elephants, about 141, died of natural causes, three due to gun shots
and 13 of electrocution.
The figure stands testimony to the
extent to which the health of elephants is affected due to the present
Vet Dr D N Nagaraj says waterholes in
forest areas have dried up and obviously elephants, like any other
forest animal, have no water to drink especially during summer.
Majority of elephants have died of natural causes which include
sickness, in-fighting and infections due to lack of water.
lack of food and water force elephants out of the forest and they end
up in villages on the fringes of the forested areas. Many pachyderms
can withstand heat for longer durations, but it depends on their
Human deaths too have
increased this season with 18 people being killed from April-December
2012. Previous season, the number of human deaths stood at 14.
official claims elephants, which are voracious eater, have an
extraordinary sense of smell to detect the presence of water sources
near forested areas. Due to the drought-like situation, the animals are
moving out of forests for food and water and this has led to the
increased man-elephant conflict.
APCCF (wildlife) AjaiMisra told
TOI that human-elephant conflict is high in irrigated areas for obvious
reason. However, the officer claimed the situation is not alarming in
Karnataka. Forest department has taken various precautionary measures
including creating awareness to prevent the conflict.