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After 8 Deaths, Forest Dept Consults Doctor on Killing Elephant

Concerned over eight deaths by an elephant at Jaldapara National Forest in West Bengal, the state Forest Department officials are in consultation with a veterinary doctor whether to kill the animal or not.

Sujit Nath |

Updated:May 18, 2017, 9:39 PM IST
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After 8 Deaths, Forest Dept Consults Doctor on Killing Elephant
Image for representational purpose only. (REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo)

Kolkata: Concerned over eight deaths by an elephant at Jaldapara National Park in West Bengal, the state Forest Department officials are in consultation with a veterinary doctor whether to kill the animal or not.

Speaking to News18, state forest minister Binay Krishna Barman said, “The matter was referred to me and we have asked for a report from a veterinary doctor on what should be done with elephant.”

“We have a provision in the law to take extreme step if an elephant turns in to a killer or a destroyer. But so far, we have not taken any decision unless we are getting an experts’ suggestion in this matter. Therefore we have asked a report from a government empaneled veterinary doctor.”

The elephant was named Vanya (forest) Ganesh and recently the elephant had killed an elderly man in Madarihat – a village in Alipurduar district.

After receiving several complaint from the local villagers, the state forest department used a female elephant, Urvashi, to tame Vanya Ganesh.

“However, our experiment failed and the elephant continues to destroy houses, damage paddy fields. Finally with a series of killings, we have decided to take suggestions from a veterinary doctor in this issue,” forest department sources said.

As per norms, if veterinary doctor give his/her suggestion to kill the elephant, then the forest department have to convince the District Magistrate, stating that the elephant posing threat to human lives and as per law the elephant will be shot dead.

As per state forest department statistics, from 2015 to 2016, nearly 100 people were killed and approximately 90 injured by wild elephants in the Bengal.

“We have only 2% of India's elephant population in Bengal and in last three years, a total of 14 elephants have been killed in retaliation, either by the forest guards or by the villagers,” sources said.

Recently, state government in an attempt to reduce conflict between human and wild animals took up an elaborate scheme to construct toilets for the people living in forests and adjoining areas.

After conducting a thorough research, Forest Department officials have found that in many cases, villagers died after being attacked by elephants and other animals while entering the forest for open defecation.

Therefore, to check the human-animal conflicts in these areas, the department has decided to construct toilets in every household situated in the vicinity of forests in all the subdivisions.

The project has already been completed in the Baikunthapur forest division in North Bengal, where 350 households in forested areas have had toilets constructed in their homes.

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