Human-animal conflict: Andhra loses 30 lives every year; experts blame `shrinking forest cover'

On average 30 people died in a year in man-animal conflict in AP

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  1 July 2022 3:31 AM GMT
Human-animal conflict: Andhra loses 30 lives every year; experts blame `shrinking forest cover

Vijayawada: Human-animal conflict is giving sleepless nights to people in Andhra Pradesh. Every year Andhra Pradesh loses 30 lives to deadly conflicts with elephants, bears, and wild boars. NCRB's Accidental Deaths and Suicides data revealed that 31 people were killed by animals in the state in 2018. There were 25 human casualties reported in conflict with animals in 2019. Likewise, 32 people were killed by animals in 2020.

Though the NCRB report didn't specify which animal was responsible for the most human casualties in the state, the forest department officials claimed that jumbos and bears are the biggest killers in some districts. Two to three districts are in the grip of human-elephant and human-bear conflict. Recently, a female bear killed a farmer and severely injured six persons and some cattle near Kidisingi under Vajrapukotturu Mandal in Srikakulam district. The bear was tranquilized and captured by the forest team. However, the animal died on its way to Vizag zoo.

The shrinking forest cover in parts of the state has not only increased the human-animal conflict but also resulted in casualties on both sides. Reports said a herd of four elephants has been roaming in the Srikakulam district. Likewise, a herd of six jumbos was seen in Parvathipuram Manyam district. The foray of wild elephants from the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary at Palamaner and Kuppam ranges in the Chittoor district has become a regular phenomenon. Not only the crops, but the lives of the farmers are also in danger in parts of the state as the jumbos have killed six farmers and one elephant tracker in the undivided Vizianagaram district in the past few years. Jumbos have killed over 10 persons in parts of Srikakulam in the past decade, said K Samba Murthy, an activist, who has been demanding the forest officials come up with a plan to end the jumbo menace.

Some activists blamed the government policy of assigning forest land to various purposes as it leads to human-animal conflicts. Some human casualties with wild elephants and wild boars were reported in the forest areas in the state. Chief Conservator of Forests (Vizag region), P Ram Mohan said that they are chalking out plans to form response teams with locals to deal with the rising human-animal conflict in some districts. The teams, on receiving an emergency call, will rush to the concerned spot and neutralize the situation, he added.

Key Points:

-On average 30 people died in a year in man-animal conflict in AP

-Four to six districts in the state have been reporting man-animal conflict

-Wild animals in search of food and water enter forest side villages

-Two places in Parvathipuram Manyam district have been identified for a rescue center for wild elephants

-Wild elephants have destroyed standing crops in three to four districts in AP

-Ex-gratia for human deaths by wild animals: Rs 5 lakh

-Ex-gratia for human grievous injury by a wild animal: Rs75,000

-For horticulture crop damage, compensation ranges from Rs7,500 to Rs 50,000 per acre

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