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Families Live on Trees due to the Terror of rampaging Elephants in Jharkhand

The number of elephants in the state has increased from 624 in 2007 to 688 in 2012

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Herd of elephants. Pixabay

Ranchi, Nov 30, 2016: At least four families have been forced to live on trees because of the terror of rampaging elephants near Ranchi, the capital city in Jharkhand.

A herd of elephants has created fear among the people living in villages near Ranchi as well as those travelling along the Ranchi- Jamshedpur National Highway.

The highway remains deserted for hours due to the fear of the wandering elephants.

Some families living in Loharatola village in Bundu, around 45 km from Ranchi, have made makeshift perches on trees. They sleep on trees to protect themselves from elephants.

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A herd of elephants damaged their houses last year. The families left their village and have been living through fields as they have agricultural land.

“During the daytime, we are involved in farming activities. The children collect small pieces of bricks for pelting at the elephants,” said Janki Munda, head of a family which lives on trees.

There are more than 15 families in the village and all depend on farming for their livelihood.

The village lacks basic facilities, exposing the tall claims made by the state government about development work in Jharkhand.

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“We are left to fend ourselves. We eke out living by cultivating our farms. We have no other option for making our living. We live in the fear of elephants and have made makeshift shelters on trees,” said Parikshit Lohra.

Jharkhand has been witnessing large-scale devastation by rampaging elephants.

Herds of elephants damage standing crops, houses and kill people. More than 1,000 people have been killed by elephants in Jharkhand since the state was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.

The number of elephants in the state has increased from 624 in 2007 to 688 in 2012.

At least 154 elephants have lost their lives in the state for various reasons, including electrocution, being run over by trains and because they consumed poisonous substances.

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According to experts, human habitats developed on the elephant corridor have been causing conflict.

“We will immediately send a team of senior officials and all possible help will be extended to the families living on trees,” Sukhdeo Singh, Jharkhand Forest and Environment Secretary, told IANS.

“We are working on short- and long-term plans to minimise the conflict between humans and elephants,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Elephant death toll in Zimbabwe rises to 200 amid severe drought

He says animals including giraffe, buffalo and impala are also dying and the situation can improve only after rains return

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Zimbabwe, Elephants, Drought
FILE - A herd of elephants walk past a watering hole in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, Oct. 14, 2014. VOA

Zimbabwe’s parks agency says more than 200 elephants have died amid a severe drought, and a mass relocation of animals is planned to ease congestion.Zimbabwe

Spokesman Tinashe Farawo on Tuesday said at least 200 elephants have died in vast Hwange National Park alone since October and other parks are affected.

He says animals including giraffe, buffalo and impala are also dying and the situation can improve only after rains return.

Zimbabwe, Elephants, Drought
Spokesman Tinashe Farawo on Tuesday said at least 200 elephants have died in vast Hwange National Park alone since October and other parks are affected. Pixabay

Many animals are straying from Zimbabwe’s parks into nearby communities in search of food and water. The parks agency has said 33 people have died from conflict with animals this year alone.

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The agency says it plans to move 600 elephants, two prides of lions and other animals from the Save Valley Conservancy in the southeast to less congested parks. (VOA)