Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Indian Elephant

I am always in awe of the elephants and for the giant that they are, their movements are very slow and  gentle.

It is said that an elephant consumes about 150 kg of plant matter per day. This is no mean feat and to keep up with this input they have to constantly munch.
Assam, a state in North India is rich in lush tea gardens and paddy fields. Assam is also home to wild life specially elephants. It is rare that the elephants encroach into the areas that are inhabited by humans.  But of late this has been the cause of worry for many especially the local cultivators. They find that the elephants wander into the tea gardens and paddy fields,  damaging the crops and robing the livelihood of the farmers.

The forest officials and the wild life fund (wwf) are worried about the conflict between the humans and the elephants.
When they investigated, they found out  some startling facts like  the forests in the north has lost about 65 % of its greenery.   
The shrinkage in the habitat has made the elephants more visible and as there is not enough food in the forest they tend to raid the crops in the vicinity there by creating a conflict with the local inhabitants.
The  farmers tried using fire crackers to scare away the elephants. This worked only for some time as they got used to the sound of the crackers
Villagers tried new strategies like using domesticated elephants to drive away the wild ones but this was proving costly.
To minimise the human elephant conflict, the Indian government along with the help of WWF has built Elephant corridors. This helps the elephants to move from one territory to the next through a system of fencing and overpasses, keeping wild life away from the crop fields.
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Denise said...

A very interesting post as was also the rest of the article and video I read from the link you provided. Years ago when I still lived in England, I remember my sister introducing me to Assam tea. She said it was the best she had ever tasted and I enjoyed my cup of tea very much. Little did I know that I would be reading about the difficulties between farmers and elephants from that area years later. I hope that this situation can be resolved amicably for the sake of both farmers and elephants. I have long admired the elephant, truly a magnificent animal.

Beth said...

Interesting post.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I appreciated it very much.


RGB said...

150kg of plant matter? Wow, that's huge! And yeah...elephants are indeed fascinating...So sad, the wild animals are slowly losing their homes, as mankind is quickly encroaching into their territory!

Daisy said...

Elephants seem like such majestic creatures to me. It's hard to imagine how much they must eat to survive. It is a shame that there must be conflict between humans and elephants in trying to share their space on earth. This has happened with so many animals in nature. It's good that they are working to try and find solutions to this problem.

Bikramjit said...

But its humans who have done this , I am sure the reson of the greenery going away from the jungle can be attributed ot human influence in some way or the other ..

when we encroach on elephants land it is ok, and when he does it called a conflict WHY.. not fair .. law shud be same maybe build corridors for HUMANS so they dont spoil things


A said...

Elephants are so fascinating. So big, so strong, yet so calm and so (for the most part I think) peaceful.

Michelle said...

They are amazing creatures. Enlightening post, thank you

D.Nambiar said...

Gentle giants indeed, at least most of the time. They're beautiful and this is such an informative post.