December 13, 2017
Growing instances of man-animal conflict has made the forest department begin work on a documentary that will help study the issue and look at solutions through creating awareness among people.
According to Coimbatore Forest Division sources, the documentary is being readied with the help of wildlife conservation organisations.
Work started on December 9 and the shoot was expected to be completed in 60 days. It would cover all the seven ranges of the division which includes Coimbatore, Madukkarai, Boluvampati, Sirumugai, Mettupalayam, Periyanaickenpalayam and Karamadai.
The team comprising personnel from wildlife conservation organisations are engaged in research to look at reasons for the conflict. These will be documented.
The team had discussions with Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest – Project Tiger Sekhar Niraj, Conservator of Forest of Coimbatore Circle S Ramasubramaniam and District Forest Officer N Satheesh.
Environment Conservation Group president R Mohammed Saleem told The Covai Post that in recent years human deaths due to man-animal conflict had gone up in the division. Death of elephants due to natural reasons, electrocution and train accidents had also seen a rise.
“In the very first week, we found that conflict in Thondamuthur area was due to use of palmyra products like leaves in brick kilns. Palmyra products stored ferment and the smell attracts elephants,” he said.
This issue is only found near brick klins using palmyra products and forest officials have been informed.
Elephants venture into human settlements in search of food and water. Coimbatore is surrounded by the Western Ghats and majority of the areas are slopes. Many swamps and other natural water storage spots are in private hands which leave elephants to look out for other water sources. The forest department is building artificial water tanks inside the forest areas now.
The documentary is expected to bring out issues faced by tribespeople, locals, farmers near forest boundaries and forest department personnel and bring together stakeholders to take up measures to mitigate issues.