Bhubaneswar: Over the years, human beings have virtually overtaken and captured the habitats of wild animals. As a result, the incidents of human-animal conflict have become a day-to-day affair and both human beings and animals are being killed in the conflicts.
As many as 689 people and 836 animals including 360 elephants lost their lives due to man-animal conflict between 2015 and 2020, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha told the Assembly, Tuesday.
In a written reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Arukha said 102 persons were killed in the conflicts in 2015 while it rose to 113 in 2016. Similarly, 111 people were killed in 2017, 109 in 2018, 128 in 2019 and 126 in 2020, he said.
As per the data provided by the minister, 58 elephants died in 2015 while 55 got killed in 2016, 62 in 2017, 82 in 2018, 60 in 2019 and 43 during last year.
Similarly, 199 wild boar or pigs, 84 spotted deer, 74 barking deer, 38 bears and 26 Sambars succumbed in fights with human beings during the last six years.
Besides, six pangolins, five hyenas, five jackals, five leopards, five rabbits, four bison, two blackbucks, two civet cats, two chousinghas (four-horned antelope), one crocodile, a jungle cat, one monitor lizard, four monkeys, a peacock, two pythons, four ratels and a wolf died due to such fights.
To prevent man-animal conflict, the state government has engaged 4,130 persons of local community while 220 ‘Gaja Bandhus’ have been deployed for monitoring the movement of elephants, the minister said. Besides, a control room has been opened at all forest divisional offices and state headquarters here, he said.
To prevent entry of animals into the human settlements, 1,047 km solar fencing and 1,250 km trench have been created during the 2014-15 and 2019-20 fiscals. Plantation activities have been undertaken inside the forest areas to feed the herbivorous animals, Arukha added.