Foresters on high alert as Dalma elephants head home (State of Jharkhand,
Jayesh Thaker, The Telegraph India |
January 13, 2021
Five separate herds of elephants are on their way to the Dalma Wildlife
Sanctuary and could return home anytime, thus alerting foresters, who have
taken a host of measures to ensure their safety along with that of the
The elephants have been returning home earlier for some time now. A herd of
35 elephants had moved into the sanctuary, 30 km from Jamshedpur, in
December last year.
The Dalma range office is keeping touch with Ghatsila counterparts about
the position and movement of the jumbos, including calves. “We need to be
on maximum alert for the imminent arrival of elephants from Bengal. Most of
the jumbos have left the Bengal jungles. We have reports of the five herds
anchored near Dhalbhumgarh but more should be on their way to Dalma,” a
forester said on condition of anonymity.
The herds, which migrated to the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in
neighbouring Bengal last year, are presently scattered at a forest near
Dhalbhumgarh in East Singhbhum.
Besides coming home early, the elephants had also migrated to Bengal about
a month earlier, in July. “The jumbos generally catch the corridor to Dalma
after harvesting season ends in Bengal,” the forester said.
Trackers have been asked to closely monitor the elephants’ movements and
remain alerted, and inform the range office when the herd nears the
The villagers have already been handed over firecrackers and ‘mashals’
(torches) to keep elephants at bay. They have also been told not to
unnecessarily venture out of their home in the night. Elephants often barge
into farms to damage standing crops which results in man-animal conflict.
Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra said the herd, which arrived home
last month, is presently in Suklara inside the sprawling 192 square
kilometre sanctuary. “Rest of the elephants should be home anytime,” he
added. A Dalma forest guard said the herds are stationed in Dhalbhumgarh
forest to quench thirst.
“The elephants are expected to stay there for some more days. Though jumbos
are moving animals but usually stay at a particular place -- where food
and water is not an issue -- for some time. The movement depends on their
mood,” he said.
“But we are on alert,” the forester added.