Bhubaneswar: As per statistics available from the central government, Odisha tops the list in India regarding human beings-elephant conflict. A total of 117 persons have died due to the conflict in 2019-20 while 82 lost their lives in 2020-21 as per the data available.
On the other hand, data available from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), elephant deaths due to man-made causes have only occurred in Odisha. Among the reasons, poaching is the primary cause. Odisha is among 12 states in India that is home to the pachyderms. Around a dozen elephants have been electrocuted in Odisha in the last six months. Odisha is second among all the states in India where elephants die after coming in contact with live electric wires.
Odisha currently has around 1,976 elephants. However, stats have revealed that more than 1.500 pachyderms have perished in the state in the last two decades and most of those have not been natural deaths.
It is pertinent to mention here that, despite high number of deaths and crop losses, retaliatory deaths of elephants by means of poisoning in the state has been nil for the last eight years.
The MoEFCC data also reflected that, a total of 73 elephants succumbed to live electric wires in Odisha during the period 2014 to 2020. Assam, which has an elephant population of 5,719, topped the list with 90 electrocution deaths during the same period.
Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu with elephant population of 6049, 5706 and 2761 respectively, witnessed 65, 24 and 68 deaths.