Over 1,500 people died due to elephant attacks since 2019: Govt tells
Saptarshi Das, Hindustan Times
March 20, 2023
Over 1,500 people have lost their lives due to elephant attacks in India in
the last three years, the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate
change informed Parliament on Monday, showing a slight increase in
elephant-human conflict in the country.
In 2019-20, 585 deaths due to elephant attack happened, whereas in between
2020-21, almost 461 such casualties were reported and in the last year, the
cases gained a marginal hike with almost 535 being reported by several
state governments, according to the data provided by the ministry.
The details were provided in the Lok Sabha by Union minister of state (MoS)
for environment, forest and climate change Ashwini Kumar Choubey while
replying to a query raised in the House by Congress MP Su.Thirunavukkarasar.
The MP asked the ministry whether the elephant-human conflict had been on
the rise during the last few years.
The minister also said that India has recorded 299,964 with the highest
numbers recorded in Karnataka (6049).
On elephant deaths, the minister said that in the last three years, 41
elephants died due to train accidents, 198 were electrocuted to death, 27
fell prey to poachers and eight died due to poisoning.
Choubey said that the management of wildlife including mitigation and
management of human-elephant conflict (HEC) was primarily the
responsibility of state governments and Union territory administrations.
He added that the ministry was responsible to provide financial and
technical assistance to states/UTs under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes
‘Project Elephant’ for the protection and conservation of elephants and
their habitats in the country in a bid to reduce man-elephant conflict and
to avoid retaliatory killing of elephants.
“Forest Departments are engaging with local communities as animal trackers
to monitor the movement of elephants and also to caution local people to
avoid human-animal conflict, prevent damage or loss of human life and
elephants,” he said in his written reply.
“Compensation is provided to local communities for loss of their property
and life caused by wild elephants. The Ministry has notified enhancement of
ex-gratia rates related to wildlife on 9 February, 2018,” he added.
Lising various efforts the government was taking to mitigate Human-Elephant
conflicts, the minister said a guideline for Management of Human Elephant
Conflict was issued by the ministry on October 6, 2017 and elephant range
states have been requested for implementation of the same. So far 33
Elephant Reserves have been established in 14 major elephant states. A
Capacity Building Workshop on “Minimizing Railway-induced Elephant
Mortalities for the Officers of the Indian Railways” was conducted on
February 1-3, 2023. A regional coordination meeting for the Eastern Region
to address Human-Elephant Conflict was conducted on January 19, 2023 at
On a query if the government was planning to update and review the elephant
corridors across the country, Choubey said, “The Ministry, in coordination
with the State Forest Departments, has initiated the process for ground
truthing of Elephant corridors in India, so as to create a better
connectivity between the different landscape and elephants herds for
maintaining genetic diversity.”