Surge in human-animal conflict threatens lives
Voice of The Reader

Surge in human-animal conflict threatens lives

September 9, 2023

Sir,

It is deeply concerning to note the recent surge in human-animal conflicts, which has resulted in a significant loss of human lives, as reported in ‘Human-animal conflict spikes in Mysuru, Kodagu and Hassan’ (SOM on Sept. 5).

According to another media report, since April 1, 2023, a total of 28 lives have been tragically lost, with 22 of these casualties attributed to elephant attacks. In just the last 15 days, 11 people have lost their lives to such incidents.

This situation is poised to worsen in the upcoming months unless immediate action is taken to establish robust barricades and protective measures.

The loss of skilled individuals from the Forest Department, such as ‘Aane’ Venkatesh, who fell victim to an elephant attack on Aug. 31 and the tragic demise of another Rapid Response Team member, Girish, near Madikeri, underscores the urgency of the situation. Additionally, the heartbreaking loss of nine-year-old Charan Nayak to a tiger further highlights the severity of the issue.

Another alarming statistic reveals that over the past three years, 152 people have lost their lives in elephant-related incidents. Furthermore, reports indicate the presence of 40 leopards within Bannerghatta National Park and an additional 30 leopards in and around Bengaluru. Statewide, there is an estimated population of 563 big cats.

The underlying cause of these conflicts is evident: The encroachment of human settlements into animal habitats due to a rapidly growing population. Addressing this issue demands a collaborative effort between the Government and the Central authorities to formulate an effective and comprehensive strategy.

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– H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram, 7.9.2023

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