Elephant roaming on road highlights persistent human-animal conflicts in southern India

Elephant roaming on road highlights persistent human-animal conflicts in southern India

Amidst ongoing concerns over human-animal conflicts in southern India’s Karnataka, an elephant was sighted wandering on a main road near Srimangala, underscoring the prevalent issue faced by the state.

The incident took place near Srimangala in Kodagu on April 24.

Visuals showed the large elephant was strolling on the main road near the jungle. People stopped in their tracks, awestruck by the sight.

The sighting of the elephant on Wednesday near Srimangala has reignited discussions regarding the pressing problem of human-animal conflicts in Karnataka. According to the state forest department, areas such as Bannerghatta, Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, Kodagu, and Hassan to the Chikkamagaluru belt witness a significant number of such conflicts.

Official data reveals a grim reality, with an average of one person falling victim to human-animal conflicts every week in Karnataka. Over the past decade, the toll has amounted to over 600 lives lost, with elephants being the primary cause of fatalities.

In response to these challenges, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has identified the issue as a priority for his government. In the latest state budget, measures aimed at safeguarding both people and crops in forest-adjacent areas were outlined, alongside a focus on wildlife protection.

A substantial portion of the allocated budget, approximately Rs 151 crore for the fiscal year 2024-25, has been earmarked for wildlife-related initiatives. Among these, Rs 60 crore has been designated for the construction of railway barricades, a significant preventive measure aimed at minimizing human-elephant conflicts.

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