Chittoor: A 60-year-old woman was killed during an attack by an elephant, a couple of days ago, when she was attending nature’s call at Rallapalli in Santhipuram Mandal, Chittoor district.

Before this incident, 20 people were killed in attacks by elephants in Andhra Pradesh since 2014. In 2019, three people were killed during elephant attacks while seven were killed in 2018, the highest number recorded ever in the state.

Replying to a question about the loss of human lives in elephant attacks, Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change Babul Supriyo said that as many as 2,633 lives were lost in elephant attacks since 2014 in the entire country. In Odisha, the highest number of 447 people died in such attacks during 2014-2019.

Supriyo said that the management of forests and wildlife is primarily the responsibility of the concerned state/UT governments and that the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change does not maintain the data of human lives lost due to attacks by wild animals.

However, he said that as per the information received from the Project Elephant and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the number of human deaths caused by elephants is 2,633 since 2014.

The ministry has data about the measures taken by the government to control the man-animal conflict in the country, he said, “The ministry provides financial assistance to states/UTs under the centrally-sponsored schemes of ‘Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ’Project Elephant’ for management of wildlife and their habitats in the country.

The broad activities supported under these schemes include compensation for depredation by wild animals and construction /erection of physical barriers to prevent the entry of wild animals into crop fields. The funding has increased more than double in the last five years, the minister said in his reply.

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