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Many villagers in India kill wild elephants because they are destroying their land and crops.
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Wild Elephants in India
Correspondent: On our travels down the Gunga, we have come across many villages like this in west Bengal but few suffer as – soul does. Every year a herd of wild elephants are enormously endangered species lumbers into the paddy fields here in search of food trampling crops, homes and people in the process.
Every year villagers and forestry officials coordinate their efforts using fire balls, torches and firing guns in the air to keep the wild elephants away.
At morning this year’s damage is being inspected.
Resident: We’re very frightened when the elephants come in tour village but we can’t really do anything because we can’t leave and we trample our fields. We try and drive the elephants out but this year the number has increased and the damage is much greater.
Correspondent: Every year up to 100 people are killed by wild elephants as they search for food and water. There are 25,000 elephants in India but their natural forest habitat has been devastated as the human population and the towns and cities have grown. Over 2-1/2 million acres of forest area they traditionally migrate to and through every season have disappeared in the last 20 years, the elephants having squeezed on almost every side.
A.J.T. Johnsingh: (Wildlife Institute of India)-The native threat to the elephants to this part is only the growing amount of traffic. We have the railway track which runs vital through this road where there 22 times train’s plight. They all just try to habituate in this area.
Correspondent: The government’s response has been to set up project elephant. It tries to ensure that the elephants have enough food in the wild to stop them searching for food in towns and villages. It tries to stop any further loss of forest habitat for the elephant and it’s trying to help the elephant population grow by tracking down on poachers. That’s only been partially successful. Every year dozens of elephants are still shot for the ivory so more management work needs to be done.
Vindo Rishi SOT: (Former Director, Project Elephant)-The text include the changing of attitudes of human beings. We’re becoming more and more materialistic and just protecting the area is not going to help. The future says that we have to manage this project as human attitude project in relation to wild elephant project then we will be able to do something.
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