Meet on conservation of elephants

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 12:

Wild life experts of the South Asian region are planning new ways to minimise damage caused by the increasing conflict between the wild elephants and the human beings in the region. A regional conference on ‘human-elephant conflict’, the ‘first of its kind’ in the region, was organised today to come up with new strategy to control the increasing cases of loss of human lives and property due to attacks by the wild elephants in the Terai region, which is considered to be a route for migrating elephants. “Human-elephant conflict has become a biggest challenge to the conservation of this species,” said Dr Chandra Gurung, the country representative of WWF Nepal Programme. He further said that relocating the people, who have migrated to the elephant’s habitat, is out of question but one should find ways to minimise the damage. A total of 66 people lost lives due to rampage by wild elephants in the past 15 years till 2002 when 227 houses were damaged and 23 elephants were killed in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur districts, wild life experts said. Experts estimate Nepal is a home to some 172 to 223 elephants.