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Elephant population declining in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, June 12 � Elephant population in Meghalaya is on the decline with the State left with just 1,811 of the gentle giants, officials said today.

As per the last census carried out in 2008, East Khasi Hills district had none, West Khasi Hills 345, Ri-Bhoi 155, Jaintia Hills 26, East Garo Hills 236, West Garo Hills 216 and South Garo Hills leading with 833.

Admitting that the pachyderm population was declining, Parliamentary Secretary Advisor Pariong told the Assembly that there were a total of 1,840 elephants in 1998, 1,858 in 2002 and a fall back to 1,811 in 2008. �Elephant population has decreased to some extent,� he observed.

Quizzed by legislator T D Shira if the census figures also took into account elephants �migrating� to Meghalaya from neighbouring Assam, he said migration changes from day to day. Asked if elephants, as per recent media reports were migrating from Meghalaya to the neighbouring Bangladesh, Pariong said the government had no such information.

Giving a break-up of district-wise tiger population in the State, Pariong informed the House that there were only 47 tigers in Meghalaya, as per the last census carried out in 2002.

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