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Man-animal conflict on rise in State

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

BY our staff reporter

GUWAHATI, July 20: Both humans and animals are at the receiving ends due to the growing man-animal conflicts over living spaces across the State.

Reasons attributed to this disturbing situation are deforestation as well as encroachment of wildlife zones which have created paucity of ‘green covers’ for animals, and the upshot is animals straying into human habitants in search of space and food.

Over the past five years, according to data of forest department, 420 persons died due to the human–animal conflict.

In 2011-12, 93 persons were killed in the man-animal conflict. Around 61 died in 2012-13, 80 in the year 2013-14, around 35 reported to have died in the following year. In the year 2015-16, highest in the year, around 151 persons were killed because of animal attack. Besides, 441 persons succumbed to injuries due to the altercation between humans and wildlife particularly with leopards and elephants.

The State forest department, however, has provided fincial aid of Rs 4.18 crore to the family of the deceased and a sum of Rs 45 lakh spent on the injured.

Of the animals, the elephant-man conflict is the highest on record. The places mely Dhansiri, East and West Sonitpur and Goalpara districts recorded maximum animal attacks. Around 17,080 houses and property have been destroyed owing to this conflict. In the year 2011, around 5,473 houses were destroyed by elephants.

Another ramification of the conflict, over the past five years, is the death of around 169 domestic animals.

A forest official stated that interaction between humans and animals has taken an ugly turn and its impact is quite apparent both on people and their resources and animals.

“We appeal to people that the conflict needs to be considered as a grave problem. So, our humble request to people is to put an end to deforestation and arbitrary encroachment on forest lands,” the official said.

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