Ele­phants, tigers kill one hu­man a day in In­dia

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

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.

(AFP)

This file photo shows a leop­ard at­tack­ing a labourer in Guwa­hati, the main city in the north­east­ern state of As­sam on Jan­uary 7, 2012

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