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20 Jan 2019, Edition - 1286, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Nilgiris stretch turning dangerous

Renald A. Frank

Coimbatore: The Nilgiris stretch is home to dense forests with a variety of species. In the past few months, there has been a steady rise in incidents where both people as well elephants have been killed. According to wildlife activist Sirajdeen, the conflict between elephants and human beings happens due to rapid development in the form of houses, resorts, industries which forces animals to move away from forests into places inhabited by humans.

An elephant was killed while moving through the railway tracks. People take a jibe at animals by hurling stones or bottles at them which make them turn aggressive. There are times when youth in particular go very close to these animals to take selfies without realising how these animals would feel since they always see human beings as their enemy, experts point out.

Reports from 1999 to 2014 show that about 200 people have been killed in elephant attacks in Coimbatore alone. The city tops the list among the districts in Tamil Nadu when it comes to deaths due to elephant attacks.

Madhur Ganesh, founder of Human Animal Society in Coimbatore, points to the fact that railway tracks pass through the elephant corridor which results in the death of jumbos. The practice of constructing electrical fencing should be done away with, he added.

Elephants have a fixed path. They also come outside the forests in search of water. Some kind of arrangement can be made to provide water for them in the forests. Human encroachment which is happening very fast should be stopped at the earliest said, Ganesh says.

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