The myth of man-elephant conflict


Over the last many years, wild elephants have been creating havoc in most parts of the State. The entire State of Assam has been fraught with man-elephant conflict and bloodshed. The State continues to witness the brutality of wild elephants. Every day we get to know that wild elephants attack people or trample them in Udalguri, Goalpara, Numaligarh and other parts of the State.

Due to the shortage of food, habitat shortage and other problems, wild elephant herds frequently enter populated areas resulting in man-elephant conflict that poses a grave threat to their continued existence.

According to experts, the man-elephant conflict is a result of habitat loss and an expanding human population. When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop-raiding, injuries, and deaths to humans caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans. Also, elephants are attracted to agricultural crops due to their higher nutritional value.

Maintenance of forest areas, reforestation, and the creation of habitat corridors are strategies that could help prevent further expansion of conflict.

To reduce the conflict, sometimes it is also suggested to grow crops, such as sugarcane and banana, which are favoured by elephants. Assam’s Pradip Bhuyan has set a great example of growing crops for wild elephants. Instead of fighting off the wild elephants, the locals in Ronghang-Hatikhuli village had started cultivating paddy for the jumbos.

You might also like