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3 truckloads of banana plantain offered to jumbos at Udalguri

By CORRESPONDENT

KALAIGAON, Nov 16 - At a time when the ongoing human elephant conflict (HEC) has taken a serious turn in Assam, specially in a few districts, namely Udalguri, Baksa, Golaghat etc., a few nature-loving people of Darrang have come forward to support wild elephant herds with some food items.

Observing the precarious state of HEC in Udalguri district, particularly roaming wild elephants intruding into human habitation obviously resulting in death of both humans and elephants, pachyderm-loving Pankaj Sarma and Himujjal Sarma along with their family members decided to offer some food items to the wild elephants taking shelter at Khalingduar Reserve Forest on November 10.

Three truckloads of fresh banana plantain and several bags of salt were placed inside Khalingduar Reserve Forest that day at 11 am. The banana plantain were collected fresh from three villages, namely Udmari near Kalaigaon, Dekargaon and Gadhiapara. Forest staff, including MK Sarma, DFO of Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri were present at the time of delivering the food items.

People living in fringe area villages around Khalingduar Reserve Forest have expressed satisfaction over the benevolent move and hoped that it will contribute to keep the wild elephants from straying outside the forest area.

On the other hand, wildlife experts have expressed concern saying that regular supply of fodder to wild elephants would make them dependent and they may demand food every day, thereby compounding problems on the HEC front.

Wildlife expert Dr Rathin Barman, Joint Director of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) told this Correspondent that bananas are not a staple food choice of wild elephants. Hence, they should not be made accustomed to such artificial feeding on a regular basis.

He further advised that banana plantain used during Diwali or any other religious festivals should not be offered to wild elephants as food on safety grounds.

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3 truckloads of banana plantain offered to jumbos at Udalguri

KALAIGAON, Nov 16 - At a time when the ongoing human elephant conflict (HEC) has taken a serious turn in Assam, specially in a few districts, namely Udalguri, Baksa, Golaghat etc., a few nature-loving people of Darrang have come forward to support wild elephant herds with some food items.

Observing the precarious state of HEC in Udalguri district, particularly roaming wild elephants intruding into human habitation obviously resulting in death of both humans and elephants, pachyderm-loving Pankaj Sarma and Himujjal Sarma along with their family members decided to offer some food items to the wild elephants taking shelter at Khalingduar Reserve Forest on November 10.

Three truckloads of fresh banana plantain and several bags of salt were placed inside Khalingduar Reserve Forest that day at 11 am. The banana plantain were collected fresh from three villages, namely Udmari near Kalaigaon, Dekargaon and Gadhiapara. Forest staff, including MK Sarma, DFO of Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri were present at the time of delivering the food items.

People living in fringe area villages around Khalingduar Reserve Forest have expressed satisfaction over the benevolent move and hoped that it will contribute to keep the wild elephants from straying outside the forest area.

On the other hand, wildlife experts have expressed concern saying that regular supply of fodder to wild elephants would make them dependent and they may demand food every day, thereby compounding problems on the HEC front.

Wildlife expert Dr Rathin Barman, Joint Director of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) told this Correspondent that bananas are not a staple food choice of wild elephants. Hence, they should not be made accustomed to such artificial feeding on a regular basis.

He further advised that banana plantain used during Diwali or any other religious festivals should not be offered to wild elephants as food on safety grounds.

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