Need to protect captive elephants, says expert Dr Jacob V Cheeran

“One of the primary reasons for rise in human-elephant conflict is the encroachment of natural elephant habitat by human beings. Hence there is a need to take steps to avoid elephant migration and provide a healthy environment inside the captivity,” said internationally acclaimed expert on elephants Dr Jacob V Cheeran in the city on Tuesday.

He was speaking after inaugurating 17th Conservation Talk on ‘Health Care Manage-ment of Captive elephants’ organised by Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens at its auditorium.

Addressing the gathering he said that the natural habitat of the wild elephants has been shrinking rapidly in the coun-try due to human intervention. Even forestry taken up in the recent past has contributed to the loss of habitat due to changes in the nature of the vegetation. Human-elephant conflicts (HECs) have been in the news for the past several years as we have failed to pro-vide permanent corridors for elephant. In the recent times there has been consistent ef-fort in all the regions to pro-vide corridors for elephants but have not reached up to the expectation. Compared to other animals, elephants migrate from one region to another region in search of food and in the process they miss the route and enter the fields and wrec havoc. Efforts
should thus be made to avoid elephant migration, he added.

He said that the benefits of protecting natural areas such as the forests were numerous, both for the present and the future generation. Protected forests provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and attract visitors which generates revenue and in turn strengthens the local economy. Thus, protect-ing the natural resource and wildlife should be accorded top priority. It has been proved for over a period of time that conservation of water sources leads to protection of natural resources, he added.

Executive Director Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens S Venkatesan, Dep-uty Director Vijay Kumar and Forest Conservator Nagendra Kumar were present.

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