Friday, January 04, 2019

In Nepal held a spectacular beauty pageant for elephants


The winner of the competition was 18-year-old elephant named were Ligulicola.

The winner of the beauty contest was the 18-year-old elephant named were Ligulicola.

Chitwan is located in the Himalayas and is one of the popular tourist destinations of the country. It is the national Park, which is located 160 kilometers from Kathmandu.

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Monday, December 31, 2018

Septuagenarian killed in Udayapur elephant attack


GAIGHAT: An elderly woman has been killed in an elephant attack in Triyuga Municipality-1 of Udayapur district.

The deceased has been identified as Sabitra Rai (78) of Khaijanpur in Triyuga Municipality-1 in the district.

According to the deceased’s daughter Binda Rai, a rogue elephant attacked and killed her mother at 9:00 am today while she was collecting foliage in the jungle beside Luhale Khola near her home.

Meanwhile, the body of the deceased has been kept at District Hospital, Udayapur for postmortem, Superintendent of Police (SP) Chandra Dev Rai at Udayapur District Police Office informed.

Police have also informed that a herd of elephants have destroyed a dozen houses in Tapeshwari, Bhagalpur and southern region of Triyuga Municipality in the district.

Just a month ago, a person was killed by an elephant inhabiting the nearby Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR), in Tapeshwari area of Belaka Municipality in the district.

The elephants inhabiting KTWR have remained a menace in the area surrounding Chure forest for the past one month.

It has been learned that the wild pachyderms appear near the human settlements mostly during the rice harvest every year.

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Nepal’s tourism hub Chitwan hosts Elephant Festival


Around 100 elephants took part in the 15th edition of Elephant Festival in Nepal’s Chitwan and was inaugurated by Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari. He mentioned the religious and cultural significance of elephants in Nepali society.

To read the full article, click on the story title.

Feature: Nearly 100 elephants enjoy picnic in Nepal with favorite food


CHITWAN, Nepal, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 100 elephants enjoyed a day-off and picnic with their favorite food in Sauraha town of Nepal's tourism hub Chitwan on Thursday afternoon.

The unique elephant picnic program was organized as a part of the ongoing 15th Chitwan Elephant Festival. Elephant picnic was added to the annual festival's schedule a few years ago to provide leisure to the elephants, who take people on jungle safari trips.

According to the organizer, the picnic aims to provide attention, love and respect to the elephants and bring them closer with humans.

"Elephants serve human beings during safari and other activities throughout the year. So, we tend to return them the love and affection that they deserve. Picnic boosts the bonding between people and elephants," Deepak Bhattarai, vice president of Regional Hotel Association Chitwan told Xinhua on the spot.

On the occasion, elephants were served with their favorite food including sugarcane, pumpkin, grasses, bananas, apples, oranges and cabbages. A single elephant was fed with nearly 50 kg of nutritious food, which comprised vitamins and minerals, in their special day.

They also enjoyed a day-off from their regular busy safari schedule. Over 50 elephants conduct safari in the Chitwan National Park every morning.

The picnic comes at a time when animal activists have been raising their voice against animals being used for adventure or entertainment purpose.

"We have been trying our best to lighten labor intensity of elephants, for which we have limited the number of safari to one or two per day for each elephant," Bhattarai said.

Hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists attended the hour-long picnic while mahouts were also treated with special delicacies.

"I am very lucky to be here and humbled to interact with the elephants. This is so amazing. I must say Nepal has a beautiful culture," a young Canadian tourist, who was among those who fed the elephants with the delicacies, told Xinhua.

Besides the picnic, the annual year-ender fiesta also features elephant race, elephant football, elephant bath, and elephant beauty contest, among others.

Chitwan is a popular tourism destination in the Himalayan country. Chitwan National Park, some 160 km from the capital Kathmandu, is a pioneer hub for wildlife adventures, especially elephant safari.

According to local tourism entrepreneurs, the region's tourism has been witnessing impressive inflow of foreign tourists especially from neighboring countries such as China and India. Enditem

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wild elephants terrorise locals in Koshi Tappu


Rajbiraj, December 27

Wild elephants are wreaking havoc around Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in eastern Nepal, locals say.

Residents living on the northern and eastern side of the reserve say they have been constantly living under threat of wild elephants.

Sovitlal Paghaiya Yadav of Hanuman Nagar Kankalini Municipality-3 in Saptari said elephants from the reserve have been destroying their houses and crops. Two days ago, a herd of three tuskers damaged three houses in Sitapur in Kanchanpur in Saptari, shared Uttam Acharya, a local.

Locals feel that local authorities are turning a blind eye to the wild elephant menace in Rupani Rural Municipality. Dozens of house owners have fled their houses fearing the elephants.

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Friday, December 21, 2018

‘Sexually-charged’ elephant kills ranger


A sexually charged elephant broke into a game park in South Africa and trampled a top safari ranger in a fatal rampage, according to reports.

Written by

This news first appeared on https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/safari-ranger-trampled-to-death-by-sexuallycharged-elephant/news-story/baa2571d94cdc62c91dd6ce35de22630?from=rss-basic under the title “‘Sexually-charged’ elephant kills ranger”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

India, Nepal and Bhutan govts consider joint task force to check wildlife smuggling


The India, Nepal and Bhutan governments are considering a joint task force for allowing free movement of wildlife across political boundaries.

The joint task force will also help in checking smuggling of wildlife across the Kanchenjunga Landscape.

According to a report in The Hindu, Kanchenjunga Landscape covers an area of 25,080 sq km spread across parts of eastern Nepal (21%), Sikkim and West Bengal (56%) and western and south-western parts of Bhutan (23%).

The forest officials and representatives of non-government organization of the three countries visited parts of the landscape and later held a meeting at Siliguri earlier this month.

From India, Ravinkanta Sinha, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, West Bengal participated in the meeting, whereas Nepal was represented by G.P. Bhattarai, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of that country. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Tashi Tobgyel, Department of Forest and Park Services, Bhutan. Representatives of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network, an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency, which held its first ever meeting in India in May 2018, were also present during the meeting.

According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD), a regional knowledge development and learning centre, 1,118 sq km of riverine grassland and tree cover were lost in the landscape between 2000 and 2010. 74 % of the area was converted into rangeland and 26% to agricultural land.

The Kanchenjunga Landscape is home to 169 species of mammals and 713 species of birds, apart from human populace.

Studies by the ICIMOD suggest that between 1986 and 2015, as many as 425 people were killed by elephants (an average of 14 human deaths every year) and 144 elephants were killed between 1958 and 2013 (an average of three elephants every year).

S.P. Pandey of SPOAR, a north Bengal-based wildlife organisation, who also participated in the discussion, said that every few months there were cases of elephants, rhino and gaurs and other mammals crossing over political boundaries, triggering panic among locals across the border and also posing danger to the wildlife.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Traumatized Elephants Stop to Listen as Soon as Man Starts Playing for Them


At a rehabilitation center for elephants in Thailand, classically-trained pianist Paul Barton brings a musical touch to help soothe the traumatized residents of Elephant World.

The first time he played music for the elephants, an old blind elephant named Pla Ra was behind the piano by coincidence. Pla Ra was one of the many residents of the sanctuary for sick, abused, retired, and rescued elephants in Thailand.

“Pla Ra was having his breakfast and elephants are hungry, so it was unusual when Pla Ra stopped eating with a mouth full of banana leaves protruding from the sides of his mouth and just listened to the music,” Barton told Reuters.

Barton returned to continue playing music for the elephants.

Almost 80 percent of the 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and are overworked, according to the animal welfare group World Animal Protection.

In Thailand, elephants originally worked with humans in the logging industry. However, in 1989, due to deforestation and the resulting devastating floods, the government banned logging.

While this was good for the environment, it posed major challenges to the elephant owners to maintain the upkeep of their hungry elephants, who eat one-tenth of their body weight every day in an ideal setting.

It was estimated in 1900 there were 100,000 elephants in Thailand.

Today, their numbers have decreased to an estimated 3,000 domestic and 2,000 in the wild.

Elephant World began in 2008 when veterinarian Dr. Samart and his wife, Khun Fon wanted to help provide a home and food for small numbers of elderly and injured local elephants in urgent need.

Through fundraising over time, Elephant World is now fully self-supporting and has 130 staff and 30 elephants in their care.

“When Paul started playing piano for the elephants, I felt that the elephants understood the music, because music is a universal language,” Elephant World sanctuary owner Samart Prasithpol told Reuters.

The elephants do seem to really enjoy the music, although one youngster seems to prefer playing to listening.

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https://www.theepochtimes.com/traumatized-elephants-stop-to-listen-as-soon-as-man-plays-starts-playing-for-them_2740207.html

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wild elephant kills man in Nepal


A wild elephant has killed a 50-year-old man in a village near a wildlife reserve in southeastern Nepal.

The body of the man, a shepherd, was found on Thursday along the road in the village of Belaka near Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, police said.

They said the man's hands and legs had been torn apart by the wild animal.

The elephant came from the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, home to wildlife such as water buffalo and rare birds.

Two women were killed by a wild elephant while collecting fodder for their livestock near the country's Chitwan National Park late last month.

Conflict between wild animals and humans has increased in recent years in Nepal, raising concerns about the safety of people living near protected areas.

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https://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/wild-elephant-kills-man-in-nepal/news-story/16c224b1540e8cd11fa57352764775e0

Friday, December 07, 2018

Wild elephants unleash terror in Kanchanrup Municipality

Wild tuskers have unleashed terror and forced locals to stay awake at night at Charkhiya Tole of Kanchanrup Municipality-12, Saptari.

Locals have been spending sleepless nights after a herd of wild tuskers destroyed three houses and damaged crops four days ago.

A herd of around a dozen wild elephants had destroyed houses belonging to Jaleswor Mochi, Lila Banjara and Ramkishun Khatwe.

Villagers said that they have not been able to sleep as they fear that tuskers might come back to the village again.

“Wild tuskers are killing people every year. It is very difficult to protect children and the elderly from them,” said Dilli Bahadur Khatri, a local.

Six persons were killed by the wild tuskers last year. “Locals will continue to live in terror until a permanent solution is figured out,” Khatri added.

Ward chair Devi Bahadur Khatri complained that their requests to various government agencies to find a permanent solution to the problem had fallen on their deaf ears.

“We had drawn attention of the District Administration Office and security agencies about security threat from wild tuskers and wild buffaloes. However, nothing has been done to prevent the wild animals from entering human settlements and causing loss of lives and property,” Khatri said.

Tuskers coming from Koshi Tappu Wildlife damage life and property at Kanchanpur, Fattepur, Barmajhiya, Goghanpur, Theliya, Mahuli, Bhardaha, Bairaba, Badgama, Kamalpur, among other places, every year.

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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Chitwan all set to host elephant festival from Dec 26


Chitwan, December 2

The 15th Chitwan Elephant Festival is going to take place at the Baghmara ground in Sauraha of Chitwan from December 26 to 30.

The festival will also include an elephant polo competition as in the previous years. The festival is being held every year on the eve of the New Year in the Gregorian calendar.

Other activities include picnic for elephants and elephant beauty contest.

This year, a special programme is being held on the themes of literature and tourism, according to organising committee coordinator Suman Ghimire.

The festival is hosted by the Regional Hotel Association, Sauraha.

Nepal Tourism Board is the promoter of the festival.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Madi locals prevent district authorities to retrieve bodies


The locals at Madi in Chitwan district have not allowed the local authority to retrieve the bodies of two women who were killed in wild elephant attack on Wednesday noon.

They have also taken to street and obstructed the vehicular movement here Thursday demanding the permanent solution to their perpetual problem with the district authorities, the menace of wild elephants.

Furthermore, they have also padlocked the four offices of the Community Forest in the buffer zone.

Madi Municipality Mayor Thakur Dhakal shared that the locals were seeking sustainable solutions to the wild elephant menace in their locality.

Chief District Officer of Chitwan, Jitendra Basnet said the bodies of two would be retrieved addressing the demands of the locals to the best of their capacity.

Meanwhile, the Chitwan National Park Chief Conservation Officer Ved Kumar Dhakal shared a technical team comprising Purusottam Pandey and Kiran Rijal had been dispatched to the National Park to track the wild elephants and to tranquilize them.

They have been instructed to cut short the tusks of the wild elephants after tranquilizing them.

Five years back, a wild elephant named Dhrube had killed six persons causing terror among the locals in Madi.

The protesting Madi locals have demanded with the authority for the proper compensation to the victim’s family, amendment in the National Park and Forest Conservation Act in the best interest of the locals, control of wild animal’s entry into human settlements, among others.

Sushila Bhandari, 35, and Trishna Kali Poudel, 60, were killed by the wild elephants while they were cutting grass for fodder at Madi Municipality-9 along the bank of the Reu River.

A total of eight persons in the National Park and the buffer zone areas in Chitwan district have lost their lives to the attack of the wild animals as of now in the current fiscal year, according to the Chitwan National Park.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Assam : Passenger train derails after hits wild elephant


Guwahati, Nov 21 : An elephant was died when a passenger train hit the jumbo crossing the railway track in upper Assam’s Jorhat district on Wednesday morning.

The incident took place at Letekujan area near Titabor in the upper Assam district at around 4-50 am when a herd of wild elephants was trying to cross the railway track.

According to the Northeast Frontier Railway officials, at about 4-50 am the front luggage cum parcel van number 96701 of train number 15603 Guwahati – Ledo Intercity Express got derailed when the train dashed against an elephant at km 357 / 6-7 between stations Titabar and Mariani under Tinsukia Division of NF Railway.

As a result of which the train with all passengers got detained at the location.

Senior officials of Tinsukia Railway Division reached the site immediately along with relief train.

The section was restored and the stranded train left the site after the coach was re-railed.

Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) of NF Railway, Pranav Jyoti Sharma said that, prima facie enquiry has found that the train was within its stipulated speed, a departmental enquiry has been ordered to find out details about adherence to protocols.

“There has been a manifold increase in the incidents of elephant crossings during the recent past and trains are constantly slowed down whenever any information of herd movement is shared with the railway by the forest department. It is only because of the close coordination between field level officials of both the forest and railway department that as many as 200 imminent dashing have been prevented this year alone. However the
incidents have to be seen in the light of recent spurt of man – animal conflicts,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Young people are increasingly rejecting inhumane animal activities


A new poll, commissioned by World Animal Protection, shows a meaningful shift in the way travelers view inhumane animal activities such as elephant rides, swimming with the dolphins excursions, and animal selfies.

For all ages, the poll found a 9 percent drop in the number of people who believe elephant riding is acceptable compared to three years ago. Over 80 percent of tourists stated they would prefer to view animals in their natural environment.

The poll also found that millennial travelers were the most compassionate age group. Jennifer Yellin, Senior Vice President at Northstar, a research firm that conducted focus groups for World Animal Protection said in a press release, “There is a relationship between age and travel activity choice when it comes to animal welfare. For example, people under 35 are more aware of animal cruelty issues. This age segment, more so than older travelers, voice greater interest in seeing animals in their natural habitats rather than forced interactions like swimming with dolphins.”

Young people are known for their interest in traveling and enjoying experiences over material possessions. The desire to have exciting experiences can draw people towards inhumane animal attractions, which often promise hands-on opportunities to play with and take photos of wild animals. Despite this, young people seem to be conscientious of animal welfare when making traveling decisions.

Animal attractions are a common site throughout the world. To unsuspecting travelers, these attractions may seem like a safe haven for wild animals. After all, inhumane animal attractions often try to market themselves this way by using words such as “sanctuary” and by claiming they rescued the animals.

A comprehensive study that examined the welfare of animals in 24 different types of wildlife attractions found that 14 attraction types had negative animal welfare and conservation impacts including captive dolphin interactions, elephant parks, and tiger encounters.

The elephant parks in Asia are a particularly prominent animal attraction. There has been a 30 percent rise in the number of elephant attractions in Thailand since 2010. These attractions offer opportunities to ride, touch and bathe elephants.

According to World Animal Protection, elephants used for rides undergo a cruel breaking-in process where they are isolated, restrained and struck at a young age to make them accept human riders. A survey by Animal Nepal of 42 elephant safaris found that over 80 percent of the elephants lived in unsuitable conditions.

The new poll shows a promising change in consumer attitude towards animal attractions, especially among the new wave of travelers.

“It’s very encouraging to know that young travelers are increasingly considering the wellbeing of animals in their plans. We know that vacationers don’t want to harm wildlife, in fact polling shows that most people participate in harmful wildlife attractions because they like animals. This movement away from captive wildlife attractions is about education and working with travel companies to improve policies,” says Josey Kitson, Executive Director of World Animal Protection Canada in the press release.

The poll comes a few years after TripAdvisor announced that they are no longer selling tickets to attractions where travelers can touch wild animals and Instagram announced that wildlife hashtags will come with a notification warning about potential animal abuse.

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https://www.earth.com/news/rejecting-inhumane-animal-activities/

Monday, October 22, 2018

Ivory smugglers nd it safe on Kolkata-bound trains


Thrissur: Poaching of elephants is rife in forests in south India. A Thiruvananthapuram-based racket involved
in the poaching of elephants for ivory has been taking its loot by train to Kolkata's Shalimar and New Market
areas and smuggling them out to Nepal, it is learnt.

The hunters rely on trains for smuggling the tusk. Cabins under the seats of railway staff is a safe place. The
storage spaces in trains are also used to hide the contraband.

Eighteen elephants have been victims of the poaching gang in Kerala forests alone in the past three years.

Their crime also covered areas like the Mysore division in Karnataka, and the Erode division in Tamil Nadu,
from where they have taken away ivory worth crores by train to Shalimar.

The forest department is aware of the Thiruvananthapuram gang that 'exports' the ivory from southern
states, but inquiries on the crime often stopped with middlemen. Poaching in Kerala has come down after the

Idamalayar jumbo slaughter racket was exposed, but forest department documents have proof that the
hunters are indeed active.

The department has information that a group of 30 sculptors in Shalimar and New Market are crafting the
looted ivory at a hideout. The gang then smuggles the ivory sculptures to Nepal, where they fetch three times
the price of the raw material.

Middlemen pay Rs 40,000 to 45,000 per kg to those who slaughter wild elephants and hand over the tusk. The
loot gets Rs75,000 per kg in Kolkata. Once it becomes a nished
art work, the price shoots up to Rs 1.25 lakh.

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https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/thrissur/2018/10/22/ivory-smugglers-find-safe-zone-kolkata-bound-trains.html

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Nepal's First Elephant Refuge is underway!


GLOUCESTER, Mass., Oct. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Direct Aid Nepal is excited to announce that they have started the first refuge in Chitwan Nepal for rescued and retired private elephants. Direct Aid Nepal is a United States 501c3 charity. They have started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and are seeking donations in exchange for travel in Nepal.

This year Direct Aid built the first chain free corrals for private elephants in Sauraha Nepal. Chain free corrals allow captive elephants to be free from their bondage of chains while they are home and not working. They also retired their first elephants from working conditions. A baby bull elephant, Samrat Gaj and in conjunction with Association Moey, 60 year old Lucky Kali. Lucky Kali had spent her life in the logging industry and then in the tourist industry.

"We have a perfect location with a beautiful river running through it. Water is a precious resource here which will now be protected by the foundation to be used by the elephants, the local children, and fishermen in permanent trust." Said Donna Marshall, Founder of Direct Aid Nepal. "Our goals are multifaceted. It will cost $400,000 to legally secure the elephants, pay for their care in full, hire staff and prepare the property for elephants. We are going to need a lot of support to bring this dream to life".

Donna Marshall, founder of Direct Aid Nepal, has spent a great deal of time initiating a development plan for the elephant refuge. She has created a temporary set up with chain free corrals, complete with toys, a watering system and considers the welfare of the mahouts (elephant caretakers) as a top priority. Ms. Marshall has been an advocate of elephants in the United States and in Nepal for decades. This year her organization provided the support to retire the first residents of the refuge, the foundation also sponsored the first foot care program at Sapana by Carol Buckley.

Since the earthquake in 2015, and with a changing socioeconomic environment, private elephant owners are seeking alternatives for their very expensive elephants. Tourism has changed and the educated consumer does not wish to have elephants subjected to cruelty with elephant rides and inhumane chaining.

The Refuge will become the center of training for all mahouts. Here they will teach humane training and continue to have foot care clinics.

Direct Aid Nepal will evaluate the 108 private elephants in Nepal and the board will determine at least once per year which elephants should be retired from the community and then will negotiate their retirement with the private owner with the stipulation that the elephant cannot be replaced. The Refuge has confirmed they already have a list of 6 elephants that desperately need help.

They have created some clever reward packages to entice financial support to back the project. There is a trip for everyone and different price points but each includes a visit to the Refuge to see the elephants. And for those that can't travel there are smaller donation packages available. Every penny helps!

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https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/nepal-s-first-elephant-refuge-is-underway-1027635397

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Wild elephants on rampage in Jhapa district


Wild elephants have been terrorising locals by entering human settlements in the northern parts of Damak Municipality, Jhapa. The wild tuskers have destroyed crops and houses over the past few days.

Locals said wild elephants from Hamsedumse Community Forest, which is 12 km from Damak Municipality, had been straying into human settlements and creating havoc.

Local Kul Bahadur BK said, human lives were also at risk.

Another local Padam Lal Tamang said hundreds of locals entered the forest chasing the tuskers away. “We are compelled to spend sleepless nights as elephants enter the settlements at night,” he added.

Although elephants straying into human settlements is a recurring problem in the area, the local government has yet to take any measures for locals’ security.

Damak Municipality Mayor Ram Nath Oli said they were working out a permanent solution to the problem. Meanwhile, he urged everybody to stay alert.

The locals are compelled to work during the day and stay awake during nights due to fear of wild tuskers. Wild elephants have destroyed property worth millions and tonnes of stored food grains over the years. Locals have been seeking a permanent solution to the problems.

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https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/wild-elephants-on-rampage-in-jhapa-district/

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Work on elephant corridor starts, Province 1 govt allocates budget


The government of Province 1 allocated Rs 60 million for the project which will appropriate some 152km of forest land and river banks from Jhapa’’s Kachankabal Rural Municipality to Bahundangi of Mechinagar Municipality.

“Survey of the project is over and we’ll call for tender notice for necessary fencing by next month,” said National Fund for Nature Conservation member-secretary Govind Gajurel, adding that some 20 million rupees allocated for the project in the last fiscal could not be used and was frozen.

Once the corridor is constructed, it is expected to minimise damage to human life and property from wild tuskers keeping them away from settlement areas while conserving the bio diversity of the region. This is the largest project aimed at controlling elephants in the country so far given the budget and size of the population that stands to benefit from the project. Prior to this, solar fencing and tunnel fencing were adopted to keep tuskers away.

According to District Forest Office Jhapa Chief Bodhraj Subedi, as many as 35 persons have lost lives in Jhapa from tusker attacks while nine elephants were killed by locals in the past seven years.

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https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/work-on-elephant-corridor-starts-province-1-govt-allocates-budget/

City-bound ivory seized in Siliguri


Calcutta: At least six ivory pieces weighing around 9.08kg, worth more than Rs 10 lakh, were seized from two men while they were being allegedly brought to the city from Siliguri late on Wednesday.

Possessing or trading in ivory items is banned in India. A violation of the law can lead to at least three years in jail and a fine of Rs 50,000.

A team of the directorate of revenue intelligence arrested Padum Bahadur Baidya, 40, who hails from Assam, and Kishore Kumar Rai, 45, a resident of Salugara in Jalpaiguri. Officers said they were waiting near the Tenzing Norgay bus stand in Siliguri to hand over the pieces of two elephant tusks to a man from Calcutta.

"We had information that some people had smuggled the ivory from Nepal and were to hand it over to someone from Calcutta, who would transport them to the city. We intercepted the duo and seized the ivory," an officer of the directorate in Calcutta said.

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https://www.telegraphindia.com/calcutta/city-bound-ivory-seized-in-siliguri-246284

Drones to patrol poacher-prone Dudhwa

LUCKNOW: For the first time, drones will be deployed for patrolling the
state's only national park in Dudhwa, situated on the porous Indo-Nepal
border, to maintain a strict vigil and keeping an eye on poachers.

As per the last census, Dudhwa reserve has around 85 tigers. Rains, flash
floods and inundated areas pose a serious challenge to the protection of
wildlife in monsoon and hence a multi-pronged vigil including forest
guards on foot, bullock carts, elephants and drones has been initiated.

Dudhwa field director Ramesh Pandey said drone patrolling will
commence on Tiger Day, July 29, with cooperation from Wildlife Institute
of India (WII) while the field staff has already been trained to use them and
track their movement.

A four-day elephant health care programme was started on Saturday to ensure good health of the pachyderms who play a vital role in surveillance and assist tourists and wildlife enthusiasts. A rhino rehabilitation programme has also started in Dudhwa after three decades and a male rhino and three females have been shifted to Bhadi Tal range.

Dudhwa has been a soft target for poachers operating in terai and Nepal. Poachers, who used the porous borders in

Katarniaghat and Kishanpur wildlife sanctuaries to sneek in are facing a tough time this year due to joint combing operations by forest guards, Seema Suraksha Bal jawans, and special tiger protection force (STPF).

Dudhwa is spread across Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts bordering Nepal. The park also has forests of saal, teak and sheesham which draw timber mafia.

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/chaddi-gang-strikes-yet-again-attacks-watchman/articleshow/65087097.cms

Friday, July 06, 2018

Wild elephant kills woman in Sunsari



Inaruwa –A woman died in an elephant attack at Baraha municipality of Sunsari district this morning.
The deceased has been identified as Bhuniyadevi Chaudhary, 50, of Dholbhanjyang at Baraha municipality-9, according to the District Police Office, Sunsari.The elephant came from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve had attacked Chaudhary on Sunday when she was sitting at cowshed.

Critically injured Chaudhary died while undergoing treatment at Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, said police.Deputy Superintendent of Police of Sunsari, Narayan Prasad Ghimire, said that investigation into the case was underway.


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

6 kg of ivory bound for Nepal seized in Assam



The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Guwahati zonal unit has seized ivory weighing about 6 kg from two persons, including a contractual railway employee, near Guwahati Railway Station.

DRI officials said that this confirmed an elephant tusk smuggling trail from within a certain radius of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park to Nepal via the Chicken’s Neck corridor in West Bengal.

Wildlife crime investigators had a whiff of this trail when DRI detectives seized 12.41 kg of ivory from a bus in northern West Bengal’s Siliguri town on February 15.

“Acting on a tip-off, our officials caught two persons near Guwahati Railway Station about 1 p.m. on Saturday and seized 24 pieces of ivory weight 5.838 kg from them,” a DRI officer who declined to be identified said.


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Assam: DRI seized 24 pieces of ivory from a railway employee



The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) on Sunday sleuths seized 24 pieces of ivory here while a contractual railway employee was collecting them here on Saturday.

The consignment, weighing around 5.838kg, was seized near Guwahati railway station around 1pm when Suraj Kumar Das, a coach attendant of Saraighat Express, was collecting it from Badrul Hussain in central Assam’s Hojai district.

“Interrogation of the duo revealed that Hussain picked up the packets containing the ivory from a person at Hojai for delivery to Das, who would deliver it to another person at New Jalpaiguri, for smuggling to Nepal through the border in north Bengal,” The Telegraph quoted a DRI official as saying. Das and Hussain were arrested.

Wildlife officials confirmed the tusks were extracted after killing at least five adult and sub-adult elephants, and since the ivory was sourced from Hojai, it is likely the elephants were killed in Karbi Anglong.

It is a known fact that endangered species are regularly being slaughtered for their parts, especially because of the rising demand in the international market, a DRI statement said.

The directorate had seized 12.410kg ivory in February from a bus at Siliguri, which was sourced from Lakhimpur district in Upper Assam.

“Investigation to unearth the masterminds behind the gang of poachers and smugglers of animal parts is in progress,” it said

According to the Synchronised Elephant Population Estimation India 2017, the Northeast is home to 10,139 elephants, of which Assam has 5,719, with the state having 0.23 elephants per square kilometre. The Karbi Anglong hills border Kaziranga National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

“There is an urgent need of a concerted effort to fight wildlife crime, which has environmental, social and economic ramifications. DRI is committed to combating such crime and we have seized wildlife articles such as red sanders, star tortoises and other species of turtles, deer antlers, tiger and leopard skins,” the statement said.


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Friday, June 08, 2018

Willingness to pay for mitigating human-elephant conflict by residents of Nepal



Human-elephant Conflict (HEC) is a significant problem in Nepal, with approximately two-thirds of households being impacted by elephants (Elephas maximus), particularly during the winter. In addition to elephant casualties, more than 10% of the households surveyed have had human casualties (injury or death) during the past 5 years. This study evaluates the economic viability of elephant conservation in Nepal within the context of current and proposed HEC mitigation scenarios. Face-to-face interviews were carried out using a structured questionnaire to elicit the residents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for elephant conservation and HEC mitigation programs using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR). Residents’ WTP was found to be positively related to income and education, and negatively related to damage-related programs. Local stakeholders were willing to pay about 42% more to programs that were economically transparent and improved upon existing management. Residents’ WTP were also greater if they have had previous HEC-related injuries or deaths.


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http://sa.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/454390/willingness-to-pay-for-mitigating-human-elephant-conflict-by-residents-of-nepal/

Nepal, India plan to run joint operation to control wildlife poaching



Kathmandu [Nepal], May 22 (ANI): In order to control wildlife poaching and trafficking of animal parts, Nepal and India are planning to carry out a joint operation.
The operation is to be conducted in Shuklaphanta National Park in Kanchanpur district on Nepal's side and Krishnapur Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.
This move comes after both the sides realised that the two reserves are contagious to each other.
The chief of National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kanchanpur office, Anil Prasain, said this decision was taken at a joint security meeting held at Haldwani, Uttarakhand, as per Kathmandu Post.
It was decided that there should be a regular surveillance at the border crossings to build a network to share information. It was also agreed that both India and Nepal will conduct joint patrol at bordering forest areas.
According to Kathmandu Post, the two sides also agreed to manage the wildlife corridors at Brahmadev and Laljhadi to ease the movement of animals, particularly elephants. (ANI)


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https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/nepal-india-plan-to-run-joint-operation-to-control-wildlife-poaching201805221250040002/

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Ten jumbos from Karnataka to help conservation at UP’s Dudhwa



New Delhi: With a new rhino area to monitor and rising man-animal conflict to control, Uttar Pradesh’s Dudhwa National Park will get ten elephants from Karnataka to deal with the situation.

According to a recent report, over 156 people were killed or injured between 2000 and 2013 due to man-animal conflict in the Dudhwa-Pilibhit area. With big cats frequently venturing out or around the buffer area which is full of villages, the forest department needed more elephants.

Situated next to the porous Indo-Nepal border, Dudhwa also has a new rhino rehabilitation centre where four rhinos were relocated. The forest department requires two elephant units for better monitoring of the new rhino area spread over 21 sq km.

The elephants will join 13 elephants already stationed at Dudhwa for patrolling and monitoring. They will cover about 2,500 km in a convoy of trucks carrying elephants and food under the supervision of vets and foresters, officials said.

“Basically the primary function is patrolling along the Indo-Nepal border where foot and jeep patrolling is next to impossible… apart from that some elephants will be shifted to buffer area where man-animal conflict is high,” Dudhwa National Park Director Sunil Choudhary said.

Choudhary and his deputy Mahaveer Kaujalagi said that keeping the warm weather in mind, they are avoiding travel during the day time.

The transfer is a goodwill gesture from the Karnataka Forest Department that had earlier this year also sent elephants to Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

“There are over 105 elephants in eight different camps. This is the first time Karnataka is giving elephants to other states strictly to aid the states with their conservation plans,” Karnataka Forest Department Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Jayaram said.

Able to venture deep into the forests, elephants are the key for better monitoring in order to check wildlife crime, according to Dudhwa Deputy Director Mahaveer Kaujalagi.

Earlier this year, Dudhwa received its first sniffer dog.

“The new rhino area needs active monitoring and man-animal conflict has to be mitigated, all this increased pressure on the existing elephant units here. Ten more of these will help us conserve in a better manner,” said Kaujalagi.

Home to a highly diverse ecosystem at the heart of the Terai region bordering Nepal, Dudhwa has several endangered animals, including tigers, elephants, Indian rhino, leopard, barasingha (swamp deer), sloth bear and others.

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Indian border force dismantles electric fence on Nepal side

Apr 28, 2018-The Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has uprooted the electric fence installed at Punarbas, a village in Kanchanpur that shares border with India. Sharada Bista, the deputy mayor of Punarabas Municipality, said the SSB men on Wednesday entered the Nepali territory and dismantled the fence that was installed to keep off wild elephants from entering the border settlements.

Wild elephants from Dudhuwa National Park in India have long been troubling the people living along the border in the district. Keshav Prasad Timilsina, a Punarbas local, said they had recently completed installing the fence.

Superintendent of Police Dilliraj Bista said the fence installation work has been stopped for the time being as the district authority is planning to conduct a border survey from a joint team of the two countries to settle the long-standing territory dispute at Punarbas.

Last year, a man from Punarbas-8 had died when the Indian border security force opened fire at the villagers over a dispute of culvert construction close to the border.



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Tusker terror keeps locals awake all night



The villagers are keeping vigil at night due to the fear of wild tuskers’ possible attack. Dozens of people had lost their lives after the wild elephants from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve had entered into the human settlements and attacked them.

Durga Devi Yadav, 45, of Kanchanrup Municipality died after the wild tusker attacked her while she was asleep yesterday night, said police. A local, Sallam Shek from Theliya said that the villagers could not sleep fearing elephant attack.

Uttam Acharya of Rupnagar said the authority concerned had taken no initiatives to protect the people from the attack of wild elephants even though many people had already lost their lives. The locals of Phattepur, Kanchanpur, Ghoghanpur, Bairaba, Badagama, Jagatpur, Rupnagar, Bhardaha, Kamalpur, Odraha, Theliya, Mahuli and Hamumannagar are compelled to live in fear and spend sleepless nights.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Highway disruption against Dhrube’s menace continues



Chitwan, (RSS): The Bharatpur-Madi-Thori postal highway has been disrupted since this morning following a protest of locals against the menace of the wild elephant named Dhrube.

The pachyderm on Sunday night demolished five houses at Khadgauli of Bharatpur Metropolitan City-23, enraging locals who decided to take to the street demanding compensation from the Chitwan National Park (CNP) administration for the losses. They closed the highway from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sunday as well at Ghailaghari that lies near the entrance to the CNP.

Families of Ram Bahadur Darai, Shanta Kumar Darai, Buddiram Darai, Mayaram Darai and Magara Darai have become homeless with the elephant destroying their houses, said Nepal Darai Upliftment Society, Town Upliftment Committee. The society has supported the protest.Chitwan’s Chief District Officer, Narayan Prasad Bhatta, said the CNP administration was already directed to address the issues and ensure the resumption of the highway.

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https://kathmandutribune.com/highway-disruption-against-dhrubes-menace-continues/

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jumbo menace rattles villagers near India-Nepal border



Residents of at least half a dozen villages in Champawat’s Tanakpur are spending sleepless night due to marauding herd of wild elephants in the region that forage through standing crop and fruit orchards. Villagers say that they are forced to stay awake at night to drive away the wild herds to save their crops and dwellings. Over the last one year, residents of villages in the region, including Thwalkhera, Khetkhera, Gaindakhali, Naya Goth, Kakrali gate, Uchauligoth and Bastia lived in fear of a tiger that was reported to roaming the region surrounded by dense forest on one side and the other by the India-Nepal border. Four women from the Kakrali gate, Thawalkhera, Naya Goth and Bastia were allegedly mauled to death by the big cats in less than a year while collecting fodder and firewood in the forest, villagers say. This apart, villagers have lost a number of livestock that fell prey to the big cats, some of them say. Following the increase in the incidents of man-animal conflicts in the region, forest officials placed cages and camera traps to catch the big cats in Sharda and Boom range but have failed to capture the tiger, villagers say, and add that forest officials do not respond to their desperate calls for help. Satish pandey, a villager, says, “Whenever we inform the forest officials, they don’t turn up in time to chase the elephant herds so we ourselves, have to ward off the animals by beating drums and utensils or bursting crackers.” “The forest watch and ward staff do not patrol region.” Tanakpur sub divisional officer Rajesh Srivastva, however, says that the villages fall in the periphery of an elephant corridor, which starts from the Rajaji Tiger Reserve to the western parts of Nepal. “Movements of pachyderms along the villages that fall on the elephant corridor are considered quite common.” He, however, says that the elephants do not enter the villages in search of fodder as it is in abundance in the forest. “Elephants by nature migrate from one place to another are known to destroy whatever comes on the way as it is the behavioral instinct of elephants.”.

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https://www.nyoooz.com/news/dehradun/1084291/jumbo-menace-rattles-villagers-near-indianepal-border/

After 27 year wait, rhino rehabilitation finally happens in Dudhwa



 
After waiting for 27 long years, India has finally got a sedating drug, and used it to rehabilitate four single-horned rhinos, paving the way for conservation of one of the most endangered species, found only in India and Nepal.

On Friday, in a historic conservation effort, foresters at Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh, successfully rehabilitated the rhinos for the second time here.

Officials, with the help of volunteers of WWF and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), rehabilitated three female and one male rhino in a 13.5 sq km enclosed area of in the forest's Belraya Range, some 15 km from the present 24 sq km Sonaripur Range enclosure, where 34 adult rhinos thrive.

The rehabilitation programme was stuck since 1991, due to want of a sedating drug which is banned in India. The key drug -- M99 -- is used to immobilise large animals like rhinos.

"It was a very long wait, but we had to take some bold decisions as to ensure it was not delayed any more. This is historic event and key to conservation of Indian rhinos," Dudhwa National Park Director Sunil Choudhary told IANS on the phone.

The drug was important because rhinos, as a routine, are not tranquilised since they cannot be left in that state for longer than 60 minutes, Chaudhary added.

"We finally got the drug. We imported it from South Africa earlier this year and had been gearing up for this days since then," Mahaveer Kaujalagi, Deputy Director, Dudhwa National Park told IANS on the phone.

He added that the male rhino, aged around 10, and the three females aged 9 to 13 were carefully selected and have good breeding potential.

For monitoring purposes, an elephant squad consisting two elephants and seven to eight volunteers has been permanently stationed in the new enclosure has been ringed by solar-powered fencing, an official said.

To read the full article, click on the story title


Monday, March 26, 2018

Lung disease rate declines in Nepal Terai elephants


Kathmandu, Mar 25 (UNI) The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among domesticated elephants in the Terai region has slowly declined, a senior veterinarian has claimed, according to a report in Th Kathmandu post on Sunday.

Speaking to the Post, Chitwan National Park (CNP) Senior Veterinary Dr Kamal Gaire said, “The rate of TB infection among elephants has come under control compared to previous years.
Complete eradication of TB is not possible in a short span of time, but we have made significant progress so far in the last few years.

Saturday marked the World Tuberculosis Day.

TB was once a major health hazard for elephants domesticated by private owners and government departments.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Four rhinos from Dudhwa National Park to be shifted to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

Lakhimpur Kheri: A plan is afoot to translocate Greater Indian Rhinoceros from to Dudhwa National Park to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) country coordinator for Rhino conservation in Kaziranga national Park in Assam Amit Sharma will be leading the rhino translocation project to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve . He was in Dudhwa on Saturday to finalize the details.

Rhinos were reintroduced from Assam to Dudhwa way back in 1984 for protection of the species. Now, officials are aiming to get four rhinos from Dudhwa National Park — one male and three females — to Belraya range of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Belraya range has been found to be suitable for rhinos as it has enough swamps and grasslands.

Deputy director of Dudhwa Mahaveer Kaujalgi said TOI, “We are in the final stage of rhino translocation programme and everything has been decided. WWF’s Amit Sharma will arrive here for tranquilizing the rhinos and thereafter they will be shifted on trucks. The enclosure and other required infrastructure has also built in Belraya for smooth transition. The shifting of rhinos will be done between April 23 and 29.”

The drug to tranquilize the rhinos has been imported with special permission by WWF.

The Indian single-horned rhino is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List. Today, its population has dwindled to about 2,700 across India and Nepal. Indian rhino is also included in schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

According to experts, there was a time when this giant herbivore was found in the flood plains of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra river. However, they disappeared over time and are found in Nepal and Assam.

Dudhwa is the only place where rhinos were reintroduced in 1984. According to sources, six rhinos were captured near Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam under the reintroduction programme. The South Sonaripur range of Dudhwa was selected for the purpose. Of these one died in Guwahati zoo and two males and three females were translocated to Dudhwa. At Dudhwa, the animals were kept in stockades and then released. Of the five animals, one female died before it could be released. The first batch of animals was released in Dudhwa in April 1984. The large male was held back until the others had settled down and released a few days later. Another female died on July 31, 1984.

With only one female and two males left, an urgent need was felt to translocate some more rhinos. It was then that the government of Nepal was approached and four young adult female rhinos were brought in exchange for 16 elephants in 1985. The rhinos captured from near Chitwan National Park in Nepal arrived in Dudhwa in April 1985. Thus, these seven rhinos, two males and five females made up the seed population.

According to a study by WWF, these herbivores are considered to be natural levelers of land and are known to help in seed dispersion of large forest trees from forested areas to grasslands.


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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Elephant tusk seized in Bengal's Siliguri, two arrested

Three pieces of an elephant tusk were seized in West Bengal's Siliguri by DRI officials and two persons arrested, an official said on Monday. The elephant tusk was carried from Assam to Siliguri for smuggling out to Nepal, said the official of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

"Based on specific intelligence input that an elephant tusk would be carried from Assam to Siliguri on a private bus for smuggling to Nepal, officers of DRI intercepted the vehicle in the Mallaguri area in the early Thursday," a statement said. The tusk, weighing 12.41 kg, has a total length of 0.86 metre and a girth of 0.36 metre and it was cut into three pieces for ease of packaging and transportation, the DRI official said.

"The two drivers of the vehicle confessed to carrying the elephant tusk at the behest of one person, a resident of Kolkata, for smuggling into Nepal," it said. "The elephant tusk was seized and the two drivers - Saiful Islam, 45, from Assam's Dejoo and Santosh Pradhan, 35, of Siliguri were arrested for smuggling of wildlife parts," the DRI said.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the elephant was poached in the forested areas of Arunachal Pradesh or Assam 5-6 months ago, it said.

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Wild elephant menace in Kanchanpur village

Wild elephants straying from the Shuklaphanta National Park are wrecking havoc in the adjacent villages, said the locals.

Recently on Thursday night, a herd of the tuskers entered the settlement of Pipaladi in Shuklaphanta municipality-3, and destroyed houses of the locals and ripen wheat crops on around 31 bighas of farmland, said they said. The loss estimation is around Rs 1.5 million.

A week ago, the pachyderms demolished at least 21 human huts set up in the Park area, said a local
Chuluwa Chaudhary, adding that the locals, in some cases, are forced to spend sleepless nights due to fear of elephant attacks.

In a bid to ward off the wild animals, the locals have come up with traditional means like whistle-blowing but with little effects.

When asked, Narendra Prasad Chaudhary, mayor of the municipality, said fencing the village with electric barbed wires has started to prevent wild elephants from entering the settlements.

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Wild elephants claim lives of two in Jhapa

Surunga, Jhapa, Feb, 24 (RSS): Two persons were killed at Birtamod-7 in Jhapa district in wild elephants’ attacks.

The Area Police Office, Birtamod, said that 70-year-old Chyangra Rajbansi and Lasune Miyan, 70, of Birtamod Municipality died in the attack of the tuskers at 12:00 this noon.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Krishna Koirala said that the elephants trampled the two inside a community forest, as they were collecting firewood.

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Farmers quiver as tuskers wreck crops and property

Mar 5, 2018-A herd of wild elephants has been wreaking havoc at Punarbas Municipality in Kanchanpur district near the Indian border for the past one week.

The marauding wild tuskers destroyed 38 houses and damaged crops in fields located in Punarbas Municipality. The local people are in panic due to the elephant menace in the area. “There was reign of terror when a herd of elephants entered the settlement in Punarbas-9  around 10pm on Saturday and wreaked havoc for three hours. Wheat planted in about five bighas of land was completely destroyed,” said Keshav Prasad Timilsina, a local who is also the chairman of ‘elephant victim struggle committee’.

The farmers are very worried now as the elephants damage wheat crop that is ready for harvest.

Elephant menace is a recurring problem in Punarbas area every year. The tuskers from Dudhuwa National Park in India and Shuklaphanta National Park (SNP) enter the settlements and cause havoc.
The local people, especially the farmers and owner of non-concrete houses, have been greatly affected due to the problem.

Similarly, wards No 3, 5 of Punarbas that abut with the SNP are also affected. The tuskers from the park enter the settlement and damage the corps.

“Thirty-eight non-concrete houses were completely destroyed in the municipality in the past few days. Wheat and sugarcane planted in more than 25 bighas of land were also damaged,” said Mayor Dil Bahadur Air. He said that Nepal Red Cross district chapter and Jhali branch provided tarpaulins and kitchen utensils to the victims. The municipality said it provided Rs 2,000 to each family whose crops were destroyed by the tuskers.  

Electric fence was set up in Punarbas area with the help of the District Forest Office, National Trust for Nature Conservation, the SNP and Tarai Arch Landscape Programme. The locals complained that the electric fence was damaged in some places and they are not repaired so far. “The tuskers entered from those places and run amok,” said Timilsina. 

Mayor Air said that the municipality has allocated Rs 1.5 million budget this year to install and repair electric fence in the affected areas. “We will soon install the fence with the support of other agencies,” he added.

The mayor said the municipality is planning to install halogen lights to control the entry of the tuskers for the time being.

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Tuskers terrorise human settlement in Sindhuli

  • SINDHULI: Wild tuskers’ rampage has terrorised the locals in Sindhuli for over a month. Locals have been fearful with the wild elephants entering into human settlement during the evening and night times.
This has compelled people to stay awake throughout the nights.

A herd of five wild elephants was seen in the market area of Sindhuli on Thursday morning.

The wild elephants had caused damages to a house in Bhiman last night and a team of police personnel has been mobilised there for security, said Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal.

Loss of property will be assessed and made public once the police team reaches there, he added.


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Stray elephants destroy crops, triggers panic in Bihar

Araria (Bihar), Mar 10 (PTI) A herd of elephants strayed into villages in Araria district situated along the Indo-Nepal border, triggering panic among local people and destroying crops, a forest official said.

The elephants, said to be about half a dozen in number, were spotted in Sikti police station area where they are destroying acres of standing wheat and maize crops, District Forest Officer D K Das said.

Local residents ran helter skelter, leading to a stampede-like situation in which at least two people were injured, he said.

He said the elephants appeared to have come from the jungles along the Indo-Nepal border and forest department officials have been deployed to chase the pachyderms out of the inhabited areas.


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Tuskers terrorise Araria villagers, injure 2 minors

ARARIA: Two minors were severely injured by a herd of six wild elephants at Barmasia village under Sikti block in Araria district on Friday.

Forest officials said the rampage by the wild tuskers has been going on from past three months, ever since they entered from adjoining forests in Nepal to Kishanganj and Araria and killed three persons.

 Residents of almost all panchayats of Dighalbank block in Kishanganj district have complained that the elephants destroyed standing maize crop in the fields. The worst affected villages include Dhantola, Karubamini, Athgachhia, Uttar Korehili, Banswari, Surivitta, Barahbhang, Talwar Bandh and Chahatpur.

Forest officials said the elephants have destroyed standing maize crops and injured people in Simalbani and Kuchha villages under Sikti block of Araria district.

“The elephants keep coming back from Nepal even after they are made to run away from here through burning of firecrackers. The arrival of elephants in these villages is due to deforestation in adjoining areas of Nepal. Widespread cultivation of maize crop in the villages in Araria and Kishanganj districts is also luring the tuskers,” Araria district forest officer (DFO) Dinesh Chandra Das, who is camping at Kuraihily village in the district from past few days, said. 

Officials said the standing maize crop, its green leaves and selves attract the elephants. “Three farmers have been trampled by the elephants over the last one month. The elephants have destroyed more than 100 acres of standing maize crop in villages along Indo-Nepal border in Kishanganj district,” Das said. He warned villagers against clicking selfies near the elephants.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Tuskers kill 2, terror among locals

Locals of Pathari and areas of Kanchanrup Municipality are living in fear after 2 women were killed in a tusker attack on Tuesday afternoon. The elephants had strayed into the human settlement from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

Manju Devi Sah, 35 and Durgi Devi Mukhiya, 45, of Pathari were killed when the wild beast attacked them while they were collecting fodder. “The villagers are living in constant fear of wild elephants that stray into human settlements from Koshi Tappu time and again,” said Hari Mukhiya, a local.

“As many as 6 persons were killed in the attacks last year while 49 houses and crops cultivated in more than 100 bigha have been destroyed by wild elephants in the past 6 months,” said Ram Krishna Yadav, another local.

Elephant Victims Struggle Committee Coordinator Bachchalal Mandal said the authority had decided to erect electric fences around the conservation area to prevent the protected animals.

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 https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/tuskers-kill-2-terror-among-locals/

Wild elephants run amok in the East

Feb 16, 2018-Wild elephant menace in eastern Nepal has risen in recent times. Six persons have died after being attacked by the elephants from the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the running fiscal year, according to the reserve officials.

Chief conservation officer Shyam Kumar Sah said the number of elephant-caused human deaths in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, from mid-July 2017 onwards, accounts for nearly 50 percent of the fatalities recorded since 2008. 
Manju Devi Sah, 35, and Durgi Devi Mukhiya, 45, of Kanchanarup Municipality-5, Saptari, became the latest casualties on Tuesday--the first ever inside the reserve’s territory. 

“The two women were killed 2km inside the western post of the reserve. They had entered the forest to collect firewood,”said Shyam Kumar.  Between 2008 and the first half of 2017, the reserve recorded nine cases of human deaths in elephant attacks. 
Six deaths in the past seven months, from July 2017 till February 2018, is a clear indicator that the incidents of human-elephant conflict have gone up significantly. The reserve officials attribute this to the increased human activities near the protected area.  

“We have been discouraging locals from venturing inside the reserve to collect firewood and fodder, but our advice has gone unheeded,” said Shyam Kumar.  The reserve is spread across 176 sq km covering the districts of Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur. The cases of human-elephant conflict are high in Saptari. 

Wild tuskers have been wreaking destruction in Odraha, Portaha, Bhardaha, Bairawa, Kankalini Hanumannagar, Fattepur, Rupnagar, Dharampur, Jagatpur and Mahuli villages of Saptari for years now.

Fences built at different places to stop elephants from entering human settlements has not made much of a difference. The reserve officials say most elephants stray inside human settlements in search of food. 

“With the rise in human population, we have settlements expanding everywhere. Forest and vegetation covers are rapidly shrinking, causing elephants and other wildlife to enter human settlements in search of food,” said Shyam Kumar.


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Elephant behind six deaths gets radio collar

GULARIYA:  The Bardiya National Park (BNP) has installed a radio collar to a marauding wild elephant in a bid to track its movement and prevent it from entering the human settlements.

The BNP team on Sunday fixed the GPS-equipped collar on the wild tusker named Jangali that killed six persons in Bardiya last year.

“The constant emission of radio signals from the device will enable us to track the animal’s movement. It helps to chase away the tusker immediately after it strays out of the park forest,” said acting Chief Conservation Officer Ashok Kumar Bhandari.

The BNP team darted the elephant as it entered Dakela village in the buffer zone of the BNP. Rangers from the BNP, officials from the National Trust of Nature Conservation and Nepal Army were involved in installing the radio collar. The pachyderm was later released in the BNP forest.

The BNP administration are planning to install the radio collar on another wild elephant believed to have entered the human settlements. The wild elephants from the BNP and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary of India had entered the settlements in Thakurbaba and Barbardiya municipalities and wreaked havoc a month ago. They destroyed more than two dozen houses and damaged wheat planted in hectares of land in the area.

Local people complain that the authorities concerned paid no heed to their repeated requests for stopping the recurring menace of wild animals. They have been demanding that an electric fence be installed to prevent the wild elephants from entering the settlements.

As per the data available at the BNP, 36 people were killed by wild elephants in Bardiya district in the past 18 years.

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Friday, March 02, 2018

Forest path being constructed for stopping elephant menace

BANIYANI, JHAPA — Construction of footpath has started in the forest areas around Bhadrapur Municipality in Jhapa district in a bid to controlling the wild elephant menace.

The forest trail is being constructed in the forest at Ward Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the municipality, said Kajiman Rai, the chief administrative officer of the Municipality. The municipality has allocated Rs 5.5 million for the construction of the forest path in the fiscal year 2017/18.

Mayor Jeevan Kumar Shrestha said attractive and safe trail is being constructed linking the community forests at various municipality wards also keeping in mind the possibility of tourism development.

Works on construction of the forest path have been started from Dasrathpur community forest at Ward No. 1 of the municipality. Mayor Shrestha said the path would be constructed in such a way that there would be no risk of wild elephants as wire fence would be constructed on both sides of the road to prevent their entry.

The forest path will connect the municipality wards from Ward No. 1 to 4.

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Tusker menace terrorises Jhapa locals

BHADRAPUR, JHAPA — Wild elephant menace has taken its toll in the east southern area of Jhapa district throwing the locals into a terror. According to available data, at least 28 people were killed in elephant attacks in the district in the past seven years, and many others injured.

They also destroy houses and ripen crops, said a local. At present a herd of around 13 elephants strays from Assam in India into places like Jyamirgadhi, Duwagadhi, Chandragadhi, Garamani, Haldibari Jalthal, Prithivinagar, Baluwabadi, Kechana, Pathariya and Gherabari, and destroys crops, he added.

Millions of rupees worth of crops and banana farming have been destroyed in elephant rampages so far, said a local Chuda Raj Bhattarai of Kachanakabal-3.

He said the locals are forced to sleepless nights in an attempt to save their crops from elephants.

Despite the elephant menace going on for a decade, no concrete steps have been taken to resolve the problem.

The locals accused the government and other concerned authorities of being apathetic towards their woes. The District Forest Office however has started fencing the affected areas with solar barbed wire to control the elephant menace.

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Wild tusker claims one in Ilam

MANGALBARE — A person was killed after a wild elephant attacked him on Sunday in Chulachuli Rural Municipality-3, Ilam.

The District Police Office, Ilam, said that Somnath Bhandari, 52, of Peltimari village in Chulachuli succumbed to injuries. He died on the way to hospital in Jhapa district after the elephant attack.

It is said that the wild elephant attacked Bhandari when he was irrigating his farm. The wild elephants have ramped in the area by destroying the houses of locals and damaging the crops since last couple of weeks.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Five arrested over elephant killing in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan police have arrested five men for allegedly killing a wild elephant, with officers seizing ivory and tusk-cutting tools, officials said Friday. Villagers in the island’s northwest had alerted wildlife authorities after a popular local elephant called “Dala Poottuwa”, or crossed tusker, disappeared.

Its carcass was later found with a bullet wound in the skull. Authorities broke up what they say is a poaching network as part of their investigation, charging five men with killing the elephant. “They had in their possession several tools used to cut tusks (and) two ivory pendants,” said police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera.

Elephants are protected under Sri Lankan law and poachers can face the death penalty for killing one. Tusked elephants are rare in Sri Lanka, accounting for less than five per cent of the island’s estimated elephant population of around 6000. That figure has declined from the last official census of the island’s elephants, which identified more than 7300 animals.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Two held with silver and elephant tail hair

Police have arrested two people for possessing illegal silver and elephant hair tufts from Bardibas in Mahottari district today.

Bisraj Tiwari of Tikapur municipality, Kailali district and Laxmi Koirala of Tilaknagar-1, Kalikot district were arrested along with 9.400 kilogrammes of silver ornaments and 15 thousand 100 units of what appeared to be elephant hair, Deputy Superintendent at the Area Police Office, Prabin Pokharel, said.

Tiwari and Koirala were arrested from Sishmahal Hotel at Bardibas, acting on a tip-off. Both are being held at the Area Police Office, Bardibas for investigation, according to police.

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Wild elephant kills 35-yr-old man in Nepal

A wild elephant in Nepal killed a 35-year-old man who had attempted to chase it away, police said Wednesday.The man was among a group of villagers, who late Tuesday tried to chase away a herd of four wild elephants in the village of Bhadrapur in the country's south-east, said senior police officer Bishnu KC. Conflicts between wild animals and humans have increased in recent years in southern Nepal's buffer zones.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wild elephants on rampage destroy houses

A herd of wild elephants destroyed two houses at Jonapur of Shuklaphanta Municipality-3 in Kanchanpur district on Saturday night.

The tuskers destroyed the houses of Deepak Humli and Bir Bahadur Chaudhary. They also gobbled the food grain and tore the beddings and other items in the houses.

The occupants of the houses escaped the site to save their lives.

Deepak’s wife, a nursing woman, saved her life by hiding under the bed with her infant.

The locals evacuated after sirens were sounded and there was hullaballoo in the village. The elephants came from the Tarapur area of the Shuklaphanta National Park entered the settlement at 11:00 pm.

The villagers could drive away the rampaging tuskers’ herd only at 3:00 am today.

The elephants went back to the nearby jungle only after fires were shot in the air.

Locals said the herd comprised some 22 adult and calf elephants.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Budget allocated for controlling wild elephant menace

The government has allocated Rs 20 million in the first phase for controlling the wild elephant menace here in the district.

The amount was released through the National Planning Commission, according to Bodhraj Subedi, Forest Official at the District Forest Office, Jhapa.

Although the demand was made for Rs 130 million with the NPC, permission was granted for releasing Rs 8.89, Subedi added.

The memorandum was sent to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation through Nepali Congress lawmaker Krishna Prasad Sitaula to tame the wild tuskers wreaking havoc in Jalthal, Bhadrapur, Kechana, Haldibari and Mechinagar among other locations.

As per the a slew of control measures, a biodiversity road will be constructed from Jalthal area to Bahundandi and 80 km long electric wire fencing will be set up from Charali to Gherabari jungle. The authorities also plan on installing electric wire along 50 km stretch around the Jalthal jungle, 20 km stretch around Charali jungle and 10 km at Gherabari.

At a press conference held on Friday, lawmaker Sitaula called for using the budget allocated for taming the elephant menace in Jhapa.  He added that the budget would be useful in constructing the biodiversity road and promoting ecotourism and agrotourism.

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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Wild elephant destroys houses in Urlabari

A wild elephant that strayed into human settlement from the nearby jungle destroyed two houses in Urlabari, causing a loss of Rs. 1.2 million. The houses of Balbir Thapa and Santa Dhimal in Jharsadi, Urlabari-1 were brought down by the elephant, according to Area Police Office, Urlabar, police inspector Chandra Bahadur Thapa. The incident took place at mid-night when the wild animal came from the nearby Miklunk jungle.

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Saturday, September 02, 2017

Tourists Discovered By Elephants From Flooded Nepal Safari Park

Elephants were pulpy into use to rescue hundreds of unfamiliar tourists trapped in a Nepal jungle safari park, officials pronounced on Monday, as a genocide fee from peep floods and landslides after 4 days of complicated rains rose to 70.

In Sauraha, 80 km (50 miles) south of Kathmandu, a Rapti River overflowed a banks, inundating hotels and restaurants and stranding some 600 tourists.

Sauraha, on a border of Chitwan National Park, is home to 605 larger one-horned rhinoceroses, or Indian rhinoceroses, and is renouned with unfamiliar tourists, including Indian and Chinese visitors, especially for elephant float and rhino-watching.

“Some 300 guest were discovered on elephant backs and tractor trailers to (nearby) Bharatpur yesterday and a rest will be taken to safer places today,” Suman Ghimire, arch of a organisation of Sauraha hotel owners, pronounced by write on Monday.

Shiva Raj Bhatta of WWF Nepal pronounced one rhino had died in a floods.
Relief workers pronounced 26 of Nepal’s 75 districts were possibly submerged or strike by landslides after complicated rains lashed a especially alpine nation, home to Mount Everest and a hearth of Lord Buddha.

The genocide toll, that had stood during 49 on Sunday, was approaching to arise with another 50 people reported blank in a floods and landslides, Information and Communications Minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet said.

Basnet pronounced some-more than 60,000 homes were underneath water, especially in a southern plains adjacent India. Estimates of waste were not available, with rescuers nonetheless to strech villages marooned by a misfortune floods in new years.

“The conditions is worrying as tens of thousands of people have been hit,” Basnet told Reuters.
Large swaths of farmland in a southern plains, Nepal’s breadbasket, are underneath H2O and a Himalayan nation could face food shortages due to stand losses, assist workers said.

“The complicated rains strike during one of a misfortune times, shortly after farmers planted their rice stand in a country’s many critical rural region,” pronounced Sumnima Shrestha, a mouthpiece for U.S.-based non-profit organisation Heifer International.

Monsoon rains, that start in Jun and continue by September, are critical for farm-dependent Nepal, though they also means complicated detriment of life and skill repairs any year.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Wild Elephant Kills A Man In Nepal

A wild elephant mauled a 58-year-old man to death early Friday near a wildlife reserve in south-eastern Nepal, police said.

The man was asleep at home when the elephant entered the village of Belka in Udayapur district, said Nara Bahadur KC, a senior police officer.

“His family members fled their tin shed home, but the man had poor vision so he couldn’t run fast enough,” he told dpa.

The man was found dead a few yards from his home near the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, a sanctuary close to the country’s largest river Koshi.

The protected area covering three districts in the south-east is home to wild animals including elephants, water buffalo and rare species of birds.

Earlier this month, a leopard killed a 13-year-old girl who was sleeping at her home in Nepal’s far west.

Conflict between wild animals and humans has increased in recent months in Nepal, raising concerns about the safety of people living near protected areas.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tusker raids terrorise Panbara residents

Residents of Panbara in Dharan Sub-metropolitan City have been distraught due to the frequent invasion of wild elephants for the past four days.

The people of Panbari have been an agonised lot ever since wild elephants started entering their settlements and destroying houses and ruining the crops at night.

“Squatters in the area have been most affected due to the intrusion of the elephants,” said Bigyan Shakya, a local.

The beasts, this morning, damaged the cemented walls of Amrit BK’s house and the house of Jungarani Lawati in Ghopali Tole.

A house belonging to Dhrub Katuwal of Ukhubari Tole was damaged by tuskers yesterday. Likewise, on Monday, wild elephants had caused a house at Charpate Aahal to collapse, according to Krishna Limbu, local.

The tuskers have destroyed a large amount of grains, crops, fruits and vegetables at night. “After wild elephants started frequenting the settlement at night, we have started to keep vigil for security throughout the night by forming a joint team including the public and security personnel,” said Binod Bishwokarma.

According to locals, Panbara is the most tusker-affected area in the district.

Over a dozen persons have been killed in the past two decades in tusker attacks, informed ward member Hari Rai. The tuskers enter Nepal via Charkoshe Jhadi from the Indian side as well.

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Jhapa locals live in fear of elephant raids

A perennial occurrence of wild elephant raids has terrified the locals of then Chandragadhi VDC -1, 3 and 9 in the district.

The problem has forced the locals to the extent of staying wide-awake throughout nights due to the rampaging elephants. The tuskers straying from nearby Indian forests enter the villages and wreck havoc in the villages.

The occurrence of elephant raids has shifted to the villages from Bahundangi in eastern Jhapa, which used to face such problem, but now free of it with the authorities having taken necessary steps, local people said.

A herd of five pachyderms that are taking refuge in Chandragadhi community forest enters the village in the evening, attacks locals and destroys crops and houses, the locals said.

Two days ago, a wild elephant entered the village and destroyed three houses at Bhadrapur-10, said local social worker Yadav Prasad Bhattarai.

He said although a patrol team from the District Forest Office with the help of the locals has been helping to ward off the elephants, but in vain. He demanded that a long term plan be devised to control the menace.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Nepal fence to keep elephants away may escalate into political row

Nepal has erected the 18-km-long energised fence near the bank of Mechi river that divides the two countries.

A battery-operated fence erected by Nepal along the border to keep elephants from India away is set to snowball into a controversy with the West Bengal government writing to the Centre to raise the issue with the neighbouring country.

Nepal erected the 18-km-long energised fence near the bank of Mechi river that divides the two countries with aid from international funding agencies six months ago.

West Bengal forest minister Binay Krishna Barman, who held a high-level meeting with state forest officials in Sukna in Darjeeling on Saturday, raised objection over the fence along the international border by Nepal.

Barman said the fencing blocks the natural movement of the elephants.

“The state government has already written a letter to the Centre to take up the matter with the Nepal government,” Barman said.

Every year hundreds of elephants migrate from the forests of Assam and West Bengal into Nepal through the Indo-Nepal border and destroy crops in the villages on both sides.

The animals follow a traditional corridor to reach places like Bahundangi in eastern Nepal under Jhapa district after crossing forests of Sukna and Panighata in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Wild elephant kills man in Nepal

A wild elephant crushed a man to death while he was foraging for mushrooms in a forest in south-eastern Nepal, local police said on Friday. The man in his 60s had ventured into the community-run forest near his home in a rural part of Jhapa district when the animal killed him, said Hari Prasad Sharma, a senior police officer.

The man, who was from an indigenous community and earned a living from the forest, was searching for mushrooms when he came under attack, according to Sharma. “Locals who reached the forest to collect fodder and firewood informed us about the incident,’’ he said.

Nepal has made progress in the conservation of endangered wild animals, it has 200 tigers, over 600 rhinos and over 150 wild elephants. But the rise in numbers has led to dangerous encounters between humans and wild animals, raising concerns about the safety of people living near forests in the country’s southern plains.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

IN NEPAL, PUBLICLY BURNING CONFISCATED ITEMS IS A WARNING TO THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

On Monday, the Nepalese government set fire to more than 4,000 items of confiscated wildlife parts in an attempt to demonstrate zero tolerance for the illegal wildlife trade.

The stockpile included parts from 48 species, including 67 tiger skins, 418 common leopard skins, 354 elephant tails, 15 bear gallbladders, 357 rhino horns, two sacks of pangolin scales, and hides from red panda, clouded leopard, and snow leopard.

All these illegally trafficked items were burned in Chitwan National Park in front of nearly 300 people. Officials hope that the public burning of wildlife parts will act as a deterrent to wildlife traffickers.

"Nepal has achieved a significant milestone in conservation," Man Bahadur Khadka, director general of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, said in a statement. "The government of Nepal expresses its commitment to zero poaching and a non-tolerance towards wildlife crime."

The wildlife parts that were part of the burn on Monday have been collected over the last 20 years, the World Wildlife Fund said. Several items were already in various stages of decay.

Some confiscated wildlife parts did not make it to the burn. These included items retained by the Nepalese government for cases that are still under investigation, as well as parts that might help future scientific studies, WWF said. Elephant tusks were also excluded from the burn because the technology required for crushing the ivory before burning is reportedly unavailable in the country.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nepal develops new fencing to protect farms and elephants

An electric fence has been developed in Napal to stop elephants from raiding people’s crops and houses.

 However, it will allow other wildlife, people and cattle to pass through unhindered.

The Himalayan Tiger Foundation is working with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), WWF-Nepal and the authorities of Bardiya National Park will test a new approach for keeping elephants and people separated.

Together with scientists from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands they have developed an experimental electric fence.

It uses a single live wire, instead of multiple wires, at a height of 180 cm that allows people and cattle, but also deer, tigers, and rhinos to walk underneath it.

The idea is to stop the much taller elephants from going through but not other wildlife.

Hopefully it also prevents people from cutting fences because they can pass through unhindered.

It’s an excellent idea.

Whether it will work will largely depend on how well the scientists understand elephants and even more importantly how well they understand communities.

Fences only work where communities support and maintain them.

Getting this support is not easy.

Co-financing schemes appear necessary to create the required sense of ownership from communities.

Human-elephant encounters are costly to the community. A recent study showed that the total yearly elephant damage in the 5,000 ha project area is about US$ 35,000 – 50,000 in crop losses and damage to houses.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nepal tests fencing approach to protect farms and elephants

“We are not angry with the elephant and know that we need to protect it, but we also need to protect ourselves”.

This is a brave statement by Kaushala Budha, a Nepali farmer in the Patabhar hamlet, whose house had been nearly destroyed by a raiding elephant the previous night. I had expected more anger and a call for revenge, but no such thing. “If the government would help us, we would pack our bags and leave”, she says. Not too surprising because last night’s raid on her house was the 6th time in a year.


For the past week I have been working in the Bardiya National Park in western Nepal. The Himalayan Tiger Foundation (NTF) invited me to come and help them think through their program on human-elephant encounters. NTF works here with National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and WWF-Nepal, advising them on improving park management and ultimately increasing the abundance of key species that occur, like tiger, rhinos, elephants, swamp deer, and a range of other exciting species.

This time, we are here to address two issues: Testing a new system of electric fencing, and starting a grassland improvement program to increase palatable grasses to get more deer and antelopes and ultimately more tigers.

Human-elephant encounters are costly to the community. A recent study showed that the total yearly elephant damage in the 5,000 ha project area is about US$ 35,000 – 50,000 in crop losses and damage to houses.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Nepal, a strange boy was wild elephants attack killed the second month of this month

A 13-year-old boy was killed in a wild elephant attack in the Chitwan district of Nepal on Jan. 13, the second in a month Wild elephant attacks on human events.

According to the Chitwan police, the victim was named Sunar, and before he got out of the house, he went to the bathroom and was attacked by wild elephants, and the boy died on the spot.

On January 10, a 22-year-old Indian female visitor was attacked by a wild elephant and died in the end because of a serious injury, according to the report.

The National Park of Nepal, the first national park in Nepal, was established in 1973. In 1984, it was declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, with elephants, rhinos, tigers and crocodiles Wildlife, is a famous tourist attraction in Nepal.

In Nepal, where the tourism industry is the mainstay, wild elephant attacks on human affairs have cast a shadow over the development of its related industries: the Indian girls' attacks have sparked 'fear' in some tourist circles.In Nepal, The legal protection of endangered animals, people have been attacked wild elephants called on the local wildlife sanctuary to take measures to control the area of wild animals, to prevent them from going out to hurt.

Some experts pointed out that with the intensification of human activities here, and the nature of wild animals themselves change, improve the situation is not difficult than before low.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Elephant beauty contest in Nepal

With the participation of various elaborately decorated elephants, an eye-catching elephant beauty contest is held during the 13th Elephant Festival in Sauraha, a tourism hub in southwest Nepal's Chitwan district.

STANDUP (ENGLISH)1 : SHRISTI KAFLE, CNC correspondent
"Today is a big day for Pushpakali as she is among the top three finalists in the elephant beauty contest. And as you can see her mahout Anil is busy doing paintings and decorations to give her a makeover to make Pushpakali win the beauty pageant."

On the cold winter morning, 15-year-old elephant Pushpakali was taken to the nearby river for bath.

Mahout Anil Darai spent a long time cleaning the elephant, and started making artistic images all over her body.

Anil used various colors to paint different symbols, signs and flowers on the elephant.

SOUNDBITE (NEPALI)2: ANIL DARAI, Mahout
"I woke up at 4 am and fed her with her favorite food. Today is the final of beauty contest so I am preparing her in a best way possible. I am painting flowers. I am sure she will secure first in the competition."

Among 50 elephants participating in the festival, five young female elephants competed in the beauty contest this year.

They walked in ramp along with their mahouts and presented their beauty and different skills to impress the judging panel.

At the end, three finalists showcased their beauty and intelligence and presented skills as per instructions from the judges.

Their actions were closely observed and scored in terms of cleanliness, physical hygiene, health status and discipline.

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