Elephants and conflicts in India

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Researcher, Centre for Indian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 5

The destruction of the eco-system of the tropical forest, its fragmentation and deforestation caused by the human activity, which was forced with the ambitious governmental programme “Make in India”, are the main reasons for numerous conflicts between wild elephants and people in modern India, according to the author’s opinion. All these aspects are the cause for the destruction of elephants’ natural habitat. Searching for food, the elephants leave their areas and move to nearby fields, wander in villages and towns’ suburbs.

Every year wild elephants kill about 500 people. Adult males, or tuskers, are especially dangerous. They are suspicious and aggressive. Their long tusks and incredible strength make them fearless and confident. A disturbed tusker is able to chase a car for a few kilometers. Due to the prohibition to hunt and catch<em >elephants, local administrations have to report to New Delhi for the official permission in case they want to neutralize killer-elephants and prevent people from being murdered.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred elephants die every year after being electrocuted, in train and lorry accidents, and from poaching. Captivated elephants, as well as the wild ones attack people. They throw down mahouts, kill and injure those who harm them.

 In 1992, India set up “Project Elephant”. It is intended to protect wild elephant population, watch them, protect migration corridors, raise awareness of the animals’ life among people, and provide veterinary help to captivated elephants. In spite of the worsening of the habitat’s quality, recent surveys show the positive dynamics in the elephant population.<strong >

KeywordsIndia, Thrissur, tusker, mahout, “Project Elephant”
Publication date28.05.2021
Number of characters23481
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