Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 20 June 2024 2.33 PM IST

Elephants struggle for existence, 6000 elephants left in Kerala forests


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite being the official animal of Kerala, elephants are struggling to survive in the wild and outside it. An average of 25 elephants die in the state every year. 125 elephants have died in the last six years.

There are about six thousand elephants in the forests of Kerala.

The forest department estimates that 735 wild elephants, including 155 young elephants, have died in the forest in seven years. The causes are many, including disease, lack of feed and water. When the migrating elephants are chased away using firecrackers and sometimes tranquilized, their health condition deteriorates and they die. Elephant poaching is also going on. Meanwhile, 637 people have died in wild animal attacks in the past five years. Around 30 lakh people in Wayanad, Idukki, Kannur, Palakkad and Malappuram districts are in fear of wildlife.

In thirty thousand hectares of the forest, exotic plantations like eucalyptus, acacia, mancium and wattle were planted for industrial purposes, and the elephants faced a shortage of food. Since 2018, these plantations have been converted into natural forest and planted with plantations and fruit trees. There are 811 elephants in the forest area of Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Periyar Elephant Reserve. There are more than 200 elephants in Ranni division. An elephant needs 150-250 kg of food and 250 litres of water daily.

1200 elephants have been found in the Kodag region near the Kerala border.

These claim the lives of wild elephants

  • Fruits filled with crackers
  • Electric shock
  • Hunting for tusks
  • Plastic waste
  • Train collision
  • Poison

Expenditure for Arikomban Mission in Idukki's Chinnakanal-Rs 16 lakhs

Cost to capture PT-Seven in Palakkad's Dhoni-Rs 17 lakhs

Projects to make money

  • The forest boundaries are equipped with solar fencing, ditches, elephant protection wall, crashguard, rope fencing and rail fencing to prevent wild elephants from migrating.
  • At present there are 2500 km of solar fence and 500 km of trenches. 680 km of solar fence and 132 km of trenches are in progress.
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