News Karnataka
Wednesday, February 21 2024
Hassan

Officials start Elephant Radio Collaring to tackle conflicts

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Hassan: Forest officials have initiated the radio collaring of elephants in the Sakaleshpur-Alur taluk region to address the persistent issue of human-elephant conflicts. The ongoing operation, which began on Friday, aims to collar nine elephants and will continue until December 15. The task involves a team from the Dubare elephant camp in Kodagu, including tamed elephants, mahouts, and kawadis. The operation was temporarily halted a few months ago following a tragic incident during which sharpshooter Venkatesh lost his life.

The district has long grappled with forest-related problems, resulting in numerous fatalities. In the past year, 65 people lost their lives in forest attacks. Forest officials, led by Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre, convened a high-level meeting at Aranya Bhavan to seek a comprehensive solution. Permission has been granted to fit radio collars on nine elephants in Alur, Sakaleshpura, and Belur, aiming to address concerns related to human-elephant conflicts.

While the installation of radio collars may not entirely resolve the issue, it is expected to enhance preventive measures by keeping local residents informed about the elephants’ whereabouts. Farmers and coffee growers in the region, who have suffered losses due to forest-related incidents, have been advocating for government action, including suitable compensation and the relinquishment of agricultural and horticultural land.

The operation will cover Alur, Belur, Sakaleshpura, Yasalur, and Arakalagudu zones. The Deputy Conservator of Forests has urged farmers and the public to cooperate during this period. Hassan DFO Mohan assured that preparations have been made to avoid a recurrence of previous incidents, stating, “We have taken precautions in identifying and installing radio collars on nine elephants.”

Sakaleshpur MLA Cement Manju expressed his concern, stating, “The public has been outraged by deforestation, and as an MLA, I brought it to the government’s attention. Unlike before, when only one or two elephants were permitted to wear radio collars, this time permission has been granted for nine elephants.

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