As animals stray into human habitations mainly for food and water, officials feel this could be a solution.

Kerala govt to bore water holes in forests use Kumki elephants to reduce man-animal conflictPhoto : N. A. Naseer /, Wikimedia
news Environment Saturday, August 05, 2017 - 10:34

Forest officers of Kerala are seeking out innovative measures to end man-animal conflict in the state. Apart from reviving elephant corridors, the department now plans to plant fruit-bearing trees and dig water holes in core areas of the forest. 

As animals stray into human habitations mainly for food and water, officials feel this could be a solution.

The Times of India reports that the Walayar forest range has already raised 5,000 saplings of jackfruit, mango, papaya and 'njaval' in two nurseries.

This has bee done in association with Velancheri forest protection committee under the `Green India' project of the Union ministry of Forest and Environment.

The report says that the planting would begin this month after Forest Minister K Raju confirms a date to inaugurate the project.

Apart from this, the department also plans to hire domesticated and trained ‘Kumki’ elephants and their mahouts from Tamil Nadu to drive away the wild elephants. 

It has been decided to launch a Kumki squad comprising 10 elephants for this purpose.

“We will rope in elephants from four elephant camps in the state at Kodanad, Kootur, Konni and Muthanga and they will be trained in forest areas close to the camps,“ chief wildlife warden K J Varghese told ToI.

Wild elephant attacks are more severe in the forest regions of Wayanad, Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts.

Four persons have been killed in Palakkad district this year. 

Apart from that, agricultural and other losses due to wild elephant intrusion were   also huge. 

The government has recently raised the compensation for loss caused by wild animals.

It was decided to increase the compensation for those killed in wildlife attacks from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh. Apart from that, compensation for agricultural crop loss was also increased.

Shortage of rain and high temperatures have been considered as main reasons for animals coming out of the confines of the forests. 

In Malampuzha, Kottekkad, Pudussery and Walayar, wild elephants went on a rampage for about a month.


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