Monday, March 18, 2019

Nijgadh Airport to be Catastrophic for Nepal’s Tiger and Elephant Populations

With an area comparable to London’s Heathrow, Nijgadh International Airport has been planned as a colossal project that would make it the fourth largest airport in the world if completed. The proposed location for the airport, however, requires massive deforestation in the eastern Tarai which would cause large-scale displacement of wildlife native to the area. A virgin forest sprawling over 8045.79 hectares in Province 2, Nijgadh is covered in Shorea Robusta (Sal) trees that are home to countless species including 33 different types of mammals, and over 300 plus different kinds of birds, all of which will be adversely impacted by the cutting of well around 2.4 million trees.

Nijgadh forest is part of an 800 kilometer green belt that extends from Uttarakhand in India to Nijgadh in Nepal. It covers multiple wildlife reserves including Jim Corbett National Park, Philibit Tiger Reserve, Shukalphanta National Park, Banke National Park, Bardiya National Park, Valmiki National Park, Chitwan National Park, Parsa National Park and an extension corridor – the Nijgadh forest. The animals that reside in various parts of the chain will be impacted as soon as part of the balanced landscape is chopped off. The displacement of animals that will inevitably result from habitat degradation caused by the project may lead to conflict between animals and people who live in the peripheries of the forests, something the government is ill-equipped to deal with.

Baburam Lamichhane, an officer at National Trust for Nature Conservation said that although Nijgadh is not a reservation area for wildlife, it is a crucial corridor for migratory species. Animals including elephants, cheetahs, deer, fishing cat, wild cats and tigers roam around the corridor because of the availability of water streams like Lal Bakiya. According to Lamichhane, “The East-West highway is situated near Parsa National Park, which has caused more animals to migrate through the forests in Nijgadh. If the airport construction takes place as planned, a major migratory corridor for the animals will be affected. Establishment of the airport will automatically have an adverse effect on the migratory species of the area.”

According to WWF Nepal, the ecology of Parsa National Park makes it particularly important for tigers and elephants. Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki, a former member of Nepal Planning Commission said, “Because of the water streams like Lal Bakiya that flow through Parsa National Park and Nijgadh, there is a significant population of tigers and elephants in the area. If we destroy their territory, they will not have a secure place to live. This will automatically threaten the lives of humans that live close to the area. Planning an airport in Nijgadh is not wise at all.”

Nepal has garnered praise for successfully increasing its tiger population by 100% in the last decade (from 121 in 2009 to 253 in 2018). 18 of Nepal’s 235 tigers live in Parsa, and if Nijgadh airport is built, they may not have a home for much longer. Sabita Malla, a wildlife biologist at World Wildlife Fund Nepal said, “Large species such as elephants and tigers require large amounts of space for movement. They migrate according to the availability of food. Parsa National Park has limited water resources, which means that the extension corridor– Nijgadh forest, plays a crucial role in the survival of the animals. Especially during dry spells, species migrate to Nijgadh forest for food and water.” With the deforestation of Nijgadh, these animals will have nowhere to go.

According to a study conducted by Small Mammal Conservation and Research Foundation (SMRF), animals like jungle cats, porcupines and mongoose are widely distributed in the forests of Tarai region including Nijgadh. Other rare mammalian species such as honey badger and striped hyena have also been found in the area. Sagar Dahal, President at SMRF said, “The degradation of forests automatically changes the habitat. Small mammals can easily move to suitable habitat nearby but not the large ones.” Dahal added, “Once the primary forests/wild areas are wiped out, it will change the site forever. And the damage is irreparable. Large bird species like Giant Hornbill will eventually die due to lack of roosting trees. In the case of Nijgadh, I am specifically worried about the elephants, as they migrate through same route. The plan will first and foremost affect their movement.”

The Afforestation “solution”

In response to criticisms about ecological damage, the Environment Management Planning (EMP) has proposed a plan to plant twenty five trees in compensation for each tree that is cut. However, it has not been specific about the technicalities of this afforestation programme. What kinds of trees will be planted and where they will be planted remain unclear.

“As a wildlife conservationist, I believe that the Nijgadh project is an absolute ecological crime. It will increase the risk of natural disasters such as floods, endanger important heritage sites, the list goes on. The government’s silence on these matters makes me very suspicious.”

On the afforestation proposal, wildlife conservationist Manoj Gautam said, “Let’s suppose, even if the government is successful in planting trees at the ratio of 25:1, these trees will not be as valuable as the forest is now. Once the animals, birds and resources are gone, they are gone forever.” Gautam added “As a wildlife conservationist, I believe that the Nijgadh project is an absolute ecological crime. It will increase the risk of natural disasters such as floods, endanger important heritage sites, the list goes on. The government’s silence on these matters makes me very suspicious.”

A member of (Pro) Public Interest Litigation, Sanjay Adhikari, said “The government lacks an understanding of the difference between ‘greenery’ and ‘jungle.’ The plantation of trees might bring out greenery but not the life of the jungle. The law states that even if there is a source of gold or diamonds which affects biodiversity, the source should be protected. Nijgadh international airport will have a huge impact on Nepal’s biodiversity.”

While criticisms about the impact of Nijgadh’s deforestation on animals have been coming from various quarters, many government employees have been in staunch support of the airport construction project. Budhi Sagar Lamichhane, an officer at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said “Nijgadh is very suitable for an airport in every aspect. It will have two parallel runways, the traffic will be manageable, and we can welcome European planes too. The airport is necessary for the future generation. Laws have been created for the development of the country, so laws that prohibit us from development should be disregarded.”

Suman Subedi, Deputy Secretary of The Ministry of Forestry Nepal, echoed this “pro-development” sentiment, claiming that while other countries “are already exceptionally developed or developing, our country is not even halfway there.” Subedi said that while “there should be a balance between the environment and development, the Ministry of forestry should not be held responsible for the development plans made by the government.”

The pro- and anti- Nijgadh Airport debate has come to be constructed as a disagreement between those who are in support of Nepal’s development and those who are against it. But wildlife conservationists claim that their discontent is not with development per se, but the means that the government is willing to use to get there. Conservationist Manoj Gautam said, “Wildlife conservation is not anti-development. Rather, it is about parallel goals where there is a balance between development and protection of the environment. Development plans should be sustainable and beneficial for both humans and non-humans alike.” Environmental activist Chanda Rana expressed a similar sentiment, saying “Development is necessary. In fact, Nepal needs an International Airport as soon as possible. But not at the cost of 2.4 million trees.”

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rs 1 cr elephant tusks, ivory seized, two held

Punjab News Express

KOLKATA: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized Rs 1.03 crore elephant tusks, ivory and sculptures made out of ivory, said an official here on Tuesday.

A father and his daughter has been arrested for attempting to smuggle them out to Nepal via Siliguri.

"Our officers recovered 3 kg elephant tusks worth Rs 30.93 lakh from Sudheesh Chandra Babu and his daughter Amitha SC Babu. Tusks were concealed in the luggage and they did not have any document in support of their possession," a DRI official said.

During preliminary interrogation, the father-daughter duo admitted that the some stock of raw ivory (elephant tusks) and some statues made of some elephant tusks/ivory were procured from Kerala and were ket at their primises.

The DRI officers searched the premises in presence of the accused and officers of the Wild Life Crime Control Bureau and seized 10 sculptures of different idols and parts thereof, two sculpture bases, one packet of jewelleries, nine packets of remnant cut pieces of ivory idols, four packets containing ivory dust and one comb, all made of ivory, with a total value of Rs 72.35 lakh.

DRI officials said Chandra Babu looked after the procurement part while his daughter managed sales and supply of the completed idols.

Chandra Babu was, earlier, arrested in an elephant poaching case in the Thundathil forest range and was absconding for the past four years.

DRI Kolkata has also seized 43 kg elephant tusks and ivory woth Rs 5.99 crore, this financial year.

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Kolkata: Kasba ivory smuggling den raided; woman, dad in net

KOLKATA: The arrest of a father-daughter duo from south Kolkata's Kasba
neighbourhood blew the lid off an ivory smuggling racket with links to
both Kerala in the south and Kathmandu across the border.

The arrested, who hail from Kerala, used to source elephant tusks from
the southern state before engaging sculptors to make statuettes and
jewellery that were then shipped to Nepal. There, the ivory items were
reportedly auctioned to international buyers for crores.

Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
tracked a sedan that one Sudheesh Chandra Babu had boarded at the
airport after arriving from Kottayam in Kerala. In his baggage were two
elephant tusks. His daughter Amitha, who was at the airport to receive him, was also in the car. A statement issued by DRI said that the total value of ivory/ivory idols and tusks of elephants that were seizure adds up to more than Rs 1 crore.

The DRI team intercepted the car while it was on the way to the Kasba address. The initial search revealed the tusks. Later during interrogation, Sudheesh revealed that he had come to Kolkata four years ago after cops in Kerala started looking for him. He had rented a house in Kasba. His daughter had joined a year later and they had started the business. Sudheesh was accused of poaching an elephant in Idamalayar forest in Kerala.

The ensuing raid on the three-storied house in Kasba led to recovery of various ivory products, including 10 finished sculptures, nine semi-finished ones, a packet of jewellery, a comb and two elephant tusks. While a pair of tusks can fetch around Rs 31 lakh in the illegal market, a sculpture can fetch crores.

During interrogation, the duo revealed that they used to procure elephant tusks from Kerala and store them in the house.

Sculptors and artisans from Kolkata and Baharampore worked in the house, transforming the tusks into works of art.

The finished products were sent to Siliguri from Kolkata and then onward to Nepal via road.

"It is difficult to ascertain the market price of the sculptures as they have very intricate designs. Moreover, some other chemicals and compounds have been mixed with ivory to give the products strength," said a DRI official.

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Saturday, March 09, 2019

Wild jumbo tramples five, returns to Nepal

ARARIA/ PATNA: A wild elephant, which trampled five persons to death in
several villages situated along the Indo-Nepal border in Supaul district
over the last two days, returned to the forests in Nepal on Thursday night.

While officials claimed that five persons were killed by the wild elephant
before it returned to its native forest, locals claimed that six more persons
were undergoing treatment after they were attacked and injured by the

Police sources said the incident began on Wednesday evening when a
group of elephants from the forest areas in neighbouring Nepal ventured
into Supaul villages and started attacking farmers and village dwellers. A tusker which was separated from its herd entered Lalpur hamlet of Bhimnagar village under Basanpur block and started the rampage at Baswantpatti village under Karjain gram panchayat and injured a woman. After damaging hutments and other dwellings, the elephant continued with the rampage at Motipur village of Raghopur block.

Some villagers were injured while they were trying to flee from the spots and several others were injured by the tusker. About 35km away from the Indo-Nepal border, the elephant also crushed many hutments of the villagers making them roofless.

According to a rough estimate, standing crops, including maize and moong spread over an area of around 100 acers in Supaul have also been damaged by the elephant.

State chief wildlife warden A K Pandey said though an elephant rescue team was sent from Patna to either drive away the jumbo back to Nepal or tranqualise it but it returned on its own. “We also held a meeting with the forest officials from Nepal, who told us that they are planning to shift the elephant to Chitwan National Park. We told them that next time any such incident we will tranqualise the elephant to avoid causality,” Pandey told TOI.

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Friday, March 08, 2019

Bihar man-animal conflict: Rampaging elephant crushes 5 villagers to death

Patna: In a tragic turn of events, five people were crushed to death when a stray elephant entered the Raghopur police station area from across the Nepal border. The incident took place on Wednesday and Thursday when one of the elephants from the herd of wild elephants was separated after which he went on a rampage across several villages in Supaul district

Going by the reports by Hindustan Times, on Wednesday morning, Yogeshwar, one of the deceased was trampled to death when he had gone to his agricultural field to irrigate his crops. This was the first incident that occurred at Karjain police station area.

Not only this, the tusker's rampage continued when the elephant attacked a house in Jahalipatti village. Chania Devi, a 55-year-old woman was crushed to death in this attack as well. After this the wild elephant reached Koriapatti village, resulting in the death of 45-year-old Ranjit Shah who happened to cross the path of the elephant.

Also Read : Mumbai: To satisfy relative's want for a boy, man abducts and sells one-year-old

The wild elephant reached Dharmpatti and Chowhatta villages on Thursday morning and attacked two more people. While trying to escape from the attack Shyam Lal Kamat of Chowhatta village was crushed to death. Also, Mohammad Jabbar of Dharmpatti village suffered various injuries and eventually passed away after the wild elephant attacked him.

In a statement to Hindustan Times, Mahendra Kumar, Sapaul's district magistrate, stated that a compensation cheque of Rs 5 lakh each has been handed over to the deceased's families.

After the chaos for nearly eight hours that led to the extensive damage of several houses and crops, the elephant was pushed back to Ratnapura in Nepal by police, forest guards and villagers. Reportedly, for the next few days, teams from forest departments of Patna and Purina will camp in the district.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Rogue elephants trample three in Supaul

Supaul, Mar 06 (UNI) Three people were trampled to death by rogue elephants under Raghopur
police station area in the district today.

Police said here that herd of rogue elephants entered in Raghopur police station area from Nepal
and trampled to death three locals.Those killed were identified as Yogeshwar Yadav, Ranjit Sah
and Jatiya Devi, police added.

"A team of forest department was called by local police station who chased away rogue elephants
to Nepal", police said, adding that the bodies had been sent for postmortem.


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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Asian elephants may lose up to 42 percent of suitable habitats in India and Nepal

It is well known that climate change, land use change, changes in water cycles, and other influencing factors will cause redistribution of species -- directly or indirectly. The details of these processes are very complex, however, as effects of global change is manifested very differently on a local scale. In a massive effort, scientists from Spain, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Italy, and Germany worked together in order to assess the combined effects of human pressures and climate change on Asian elephants' distribution, embedded in the human-dominated landscapes in India and Nepal. "We compiled a large database of more than four thousand elephant occurrences and a large geodatabase of environmental predictor variables covering India and Nepal for this study," explains Surendra P. Goyal (Wildlife Institute of India). In a first step, this allowed the scientists to predict the current spatial distribution of Asian elephants as a function of environmental variables. "In addition to ongoing human-induced disturbance, especially in the form of land-use change, elephant distribution is influenced by complex local scale interactions among precipitation and temperature, complicated by seasonal monsoon in this region," explains lead author Rajapandian Kanagaraj from the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN) in Madrid (Spain). The scientists estimated that around 256 thousand square kilometres of habitat are suitable for elephants in India and Nepal.

In a second step the effects of climate changes were included into the distribution model to predict future elephant distributions and possible range shifts. Relying on climate and land use data projections for 2050 and 2070, different scenarios were calculated. All scenarios strongly indicate that the interaction between climate change and land use will compound existing threats to the elephant. "We anticipate that elephant range would likely shift towards higher elevations in the Himalayas, and along a gradient of water availability, instead of a simple...

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Tusker terror

Wild elephants have unleashed terror among locals at Nipane of Dudhauli Municipality, Sindhuli. Three wild tuskers have destroyed nine houses and damaged crops in the past three nights, said ward chair Sane Dhami.

“We have not been able to sleep for the past three nights”, said Sane, adding, “Tuskers enter the forest in the morning and return to the human settlement as soon as night falls.” The tuskers have destroyed houses of Narnedra Majhi, Gopal Majhi, Anup Tharu, Kanna Tharu, Ratiya Dhami, Narayan Karki, among others. Locals say they have to spend sleepless nights as tuskers give them hard time at night. They make fire and bang utensils to chase away the wild beasts. Locals fear that the wild elephants will destroy their crops.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

BNP bans leasing elephants for festivals, personal use

BANKE: Banke National Park (BNP) has banned the hiring of domesticated elephants for festivals and personal use.

The Park has followed the government outlawing the use of tamed elephants on rent for occasions and personal purpose across the country after amending the Act related to elephant management.

“We have stopped leasing the Park’s elephants after the government’s ban. They will be used only for tasks and activities of the Park and conservation area,” said chief conservation officer Yubaraj Regmi.

The Park used to rent tamed elephants for use on various occasions like fairs and festivals.

The Park has four elephants at present. Domestic tourists are charged Rs 5,000 each for a ride of six hours. Likewise, the charge is Rs 10,000 each for tourists of SAARC countries, and Rs 20,000 each for tourists from other foreign countries, said information officer Bishnu Thapaliya.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Protecting pangolins from being eaten to extinction

They may not be as cute, and do not make headlines like tigers, elephants or rhinos, but Nepal’s pangolins are critically endangered and need as much protection as those better known mammals.

A report released in Kathmandu by Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation on World Pangolin Day on 16 February warns that two indigenous species of scaly anteaters may soon become extinct if they are not protected from poachers smuggling them to feed a growing demand for pangolins across the northern border in China.

“It is very difficult to spot a pangolin in the wild or its burrows when I go out in the field for research nowadays. You really need to be lucky. This wasn’t the case 10 years ago,” said Tulshi Laxmi Suwal, who is doing a doctorate on the mammal.

Titled Pangolin Monitoring Guideline for Nepal the report released on Saturday is a world first – providing instructions on how to monitor the animal’s activity in the wild so action can be taken to protect them.

‘The geopolitical situation is such that Nepal not only acts as the source site but as a transit point for pangolin trade,’ states the report, which its authors hope will help develop a national-level conservation, protection and monitoring strategy.

Pangolins with their armour-like scales are known as ‘living fossils’ because the hardy species have been around for 80 million years. It is also the most trafficked mammal in the world, accounting for 20% of all illegal wildlife trade.

Every year, 100,000 pangolins are smuggled live into China from Southeast Asia and Africa. One million of the animals have been killed worldwide in the last decade alone.

Many Chinese believe the scales have therapeutic value, and pangolin meat is considered a delicacy. Some ethnic groups in Nepal also eat pangolins for their supposed health benefits, but most are now killed or trapped to be smuggled to China.

Nepal is set to become the first country to double it tiger population by 2022, and has marked zero poaching of rhinos for the last few years. But while these charismatic mammals grab headlines, elusive and lesser-known species like the pangolin are being hunted nearly to extinction.

Nepal is home to two species of pangolins: Chinese pangolins have a darker body small head and lack external ears, while Indian pangolins possess brownish yellow scales. Farmers believe the animals to be inauspicious, and they are usually killed if seen.

Chinese pangolins are among the most endangered of all anteater species. Both pangolins are in Nepal’s protected list and killing, poaching, transporting, selling or buying the scaly anteater is punishable with a Rs 1 million fine and/or up to 15 years in jail.

Last year, the Nepal government prepared a comprehensive Pangolin Conservation Action Plan. But more worrying is that Nepal is becoming a conduit for smuggled pangolins from India and Africa to China where the scales are worth $3,000 per kg. A live adult anteater can sell for anything up to $8,000 in China.

In the last five years, Nepal Police have arrested 34 smugglers and confiscated 125kg of scales, four live anteaters, and one carcass and four sets of pangolin skin. In 2016, Suwal identified one of the seized pangolins to be from an African species.

The pangolin trade is flourishing despite the global ban, and smuggling is so rife that of the eight species found in Africa and Asia, four are listed as vulnerable, two as critically endangered and two as endangered.

Pangolin fetus, scales and blood have been ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but growing affluence in China means demand has increased. Stuffed pangolins are sold as souvenirs, and body parts are also used in ornaments and even to make bulletproof vests.

“It is essential to also address the ever-increasing demand for pangolin products when talking about its protection,” added Suwal, who is currently pursuing PhD on the anteater in Taiwan, the only country in the world where pangolin population is increasing. “Taiwan is proof that China can also reduce its demand for pangolins through education, stricter laws, transboundary collaboration and enforcement.”

In the recent years pangolin scales are finding their way from China to Europe and the US. A 2017 UNEP report shows that pangolins and their parts have been seized in 67 countries, highlighting the growing global nature of the pangolin trade. (See map above.)

The report found smugglers were using 27 new global trade routes. Europe, especially Germany and Belgium, was identified as a major transit hub and Netherlands was found to be a destination for pangolin body parts and scales from China and Uganda. Hong Kong is a major wildlife trade hub because of its proximity to Mainland China.

Sagar Dahal of Nepal’s Small Mammal Conservation and Research Foundation says some ethnic groups eat pangolin meat, but the animal is under threat now mainly from poachers supplying the animals to China. Pangolins eat termites and ants, keeping a check on the population of these insects, which harm crops and vegetation.

Says Dahal: “For a long time, we have focussed exclusively on saving tigers and rhinos, it is urgent that we also look at protecting pangolins which are now critically endangered.”

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wild elephants move into villages, trample crops

SHAHJHANPUR: Over two dozen wild elephants went on rampage in
villages around Majhgai range of Dudhwa tiger reserve over the past few
days. A herd of wild elephants, roughly over 25, move into villages and
trample the standing crops almost every day. Even though villagers have
sought help, the forest department is yet to take any substantial action to
control the damages caused by pachyderms. There are two herds of wild
elephants that have migrated from Nepal forests to Dudhwa Tiger reserve.

Their movement could be seen around the core and buffer area of the reserve.

On Tuesday evening, a herd of elephants entered into Chokhra farm and
destroyed around 2.5 acres of the standing wheat crop . The movement of
these wild elephants is quite frequent in Chokhra farm, Bhagwant Nagar and nearby villages. A months ago, a wild elephant had killed an elderly man and injured three persons. Due to aggressive nature of these elephants, villagers are scared of taking action against them. On the other hand, forest department says that the movement of these elephants is mainly during the night when it becomes difficult to take any action.

DFO, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve buffer area, Anil Patel said, “so far it doesn’t look like that these elephants have deviated from their normal route. Few villagers have started farming extremely near to the forest area. We are keeping a track on these elephants and assessing the losses caused to the farmers.”

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Friday, February 01, 2019

Erotic Elephants Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Erotic Elephants Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal

Erotic carving at the Shiva Parvati Temple, also known as the Erotic Elephants Temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The tradition of woodcarving in Bhaktapur goes back to the 12th century and is used to decorate the rafters, columns, windows, doors and walls of temples and traditional houses all throughout the city.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Siren vehicle patrol in mobilisation to chase away rogue elephants in Jhapa

BHADRAPUR: The Division Forest Office Jhapa has mobilised armed patrol team with siren-equipped vehicle to chase away wild tuskers in Buddhashanti Rural Municipality.

The safety measure was put in place after a herd of wild elephants continued demolishing houses of local people and eating up their crops, shared division office chief Bishnu Ghimire.

He said that around 13 wild elephants inhabiting the community forest in the area were terrorising locals especially in the evening time, said Sitaram Bastola, a local of Buddhashanti Rural Municipality-3.

He shared that the mobilisation of a seven-member armed forest security personnel with well-appointed vehicle from Division Office has given a respite to the local people.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Accidents: Woman in Nepal trampled to death by elephant

Kathmandu (dpa) - A wild elephant in Nepal has trampeld a woman to death. The animal attacked the 53-year-old girl near her home near the Koshi Tappu Nature Reserve in the southeast of the country, police said in the Saptari district. According to this, the woman had left the house on Saturday, even though her neighbors had spotted the elephant and warned her about the animal. The number of wildlife accidents in Nepal has increased in recent years. In the last three months alone, wild elephants have killed a man and two women in the Koshi Tappu area.

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A fleeting woman was killed by an elephant in Nepal

An elephant killed a woman near a nature reserve in southeastern Nepal, local police said Sunday.

The woman escaped from her home on Saturday morning when her neighbor alerted her that an elephant had arrived in the city.

Over the past three months, a man and two women have been killed in the area of ​​wild elephants coming from the Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. According to the family of the victim, one million rupees (2.5 million forints) will be compensated by the state if it leads to the death of an animal. In recent years, the number of wildlife attacks in settlements near forests and forests in the Southeast Asian country has increased.

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A fleeting woman was killed by an elephant in Nepal

The elephant killed a woman near a nature reserve in southeastern Nepal, said the local police Sunday.

The woman escaped from her home on Saturday dawn when her neighbor worried her that an elephant was coming to the city.

Over the past three months, a man and two women have been killed in the area of ​​wild elephants who migrated from the Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve there. According to the victim's family, one million rupees (2.5 million shots) are offset by the state if it causes death in an animal. In recent years, the number of game attacks in settlements near forests and forests has increased in the Southeast Asian country. s)

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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.

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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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

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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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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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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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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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.

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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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