Elephants, tigers kill one human a day in India
New Delhi, India - Endangered elephants and tigers are killing one person a day in India as humans put a growing squeeze on their habitat, according to new government figures.
But man is in turn killing a leopard a day as the man-animal tussle for space reaches new heights.
India has lost vast swathes of forests to urbanisation in recent decades, forcing animals into human-occupied zones.
According to the Environment Ministry, 1,144 people were killed in attacks across India in 1,143 days between April 2014 and May this year.
The ministry said 345 tigers and 84 elephants were killed in the same period, mostly in poacher attacks.
Siddhanta Das, the ministry’s director general of forests, said human encroachment into animal territory was causing the deaths. “We are running awareness campaigns to minimise the casualties.”
Elephants accounted for 1,052 human deaths and tigers 92, figures released to parliament last week stated. West Bengal accounted for more than a quarter of deaths. The eastern state has nearly 800 elephants and is also home to famed Bengal tigers.
Tensions are also mounting elsewhere across the country.
Most attacks by elephants take place in so-called elephant corridors which they have used for centuries but are now being overrun by humans.
India has nearly 30,000 elephants and is home to half the world's tiger population with some 2,226 of the big cats roaming its reserves, according to the last official count in 2014.
There are no figures on the number of humans killed by leopards, but experts say there are hundreds each year.
This file photo shows a leopard attacking a labourer in Guwahati, the main city in the northeastern state of Assam on January 7, 2012