Guwahati: Elephant expert and secretary general of the Bangkok-based Elephant Rei-ntroduction Foundation, Sivaporn Dardarananda, said humans should remain calm to avoid conflict with elephants.
The foundation has been working for the past few decades to reintroduce captive elephants back into the wild.
Dardarananda is here to take part in the Eastern Hima-layas Naturenomics Forum held by the Balipara Foundation at Hotel Taj Vivanta here.
Dardarananda told The Telegraph: “Elephants are sensitive animals and can hear the faintest heartbeat. They come to know easily if a human is scared or defensive by listening to his heartbeat. The only way to tackle an elephant is by staying calm and composed.”
“Elephants are the makers of a jungle. Due to their enormous size while moving from one place to another, they makes ways and habitat for other animals. The seeds of the fruit they eat are later scattered along with the dung. In the course of time, a jungle comes into being. Back in Thailand we don’t call it dung rather it is called fertiliser which forms a jungle,” he said.
“Modern man doesn’t know or forgot how to co-exist with elephants. Earlier, there was abundant food for both men and elephants. Now forests are shrinking. Elephants in a herd are not a problem. Rather, a single elephant becomes a problem for humans. A lone elephant becomes over-sensitive and reacts to the slightest defensive human activity,” he said.
Dardarananda said the government can make overbridges above roads passing through a forested area to avoid accidents.
According to a report, Northeast is home to more than 10,000 wild elephants, around 25 per cent of the world’s elephant population.
Assam has the highest number of wild elephants in India which is around 6,000.
According to a case study in Sonitpur, Assam, the Kameng area in Arunachal Pradesh and Sonitpur in Assam (contiguous habitat) support a large elephant population that varies between 900 and 1,200.
According to another report, wild elephants have killed around 800 people in Assam in 10 years, while 300 elephants fell victim to speeding trains, electrocution and poisoning.
Date: 8 Nov 2017