Death of a female pregnant elephant in Kerala due to the consumption of coconut filled with crackers shook the entire nation. Initially, it was alleged that this heinous act is done intentionally to harm the elephant. However, later the Ministry of Environment, forest and climate change tweeted that as per the primary investigation revealed, the elephant may have accidentally consumed such fruit.
However, this illegal act of filling fruits with crackers is a practice used by the farmers to keep away the wild boars from the plantation farms. Though, this time it was this 15 years old pregnant elephant who became the victim.
This tragic incident became viral on social media, everyone demanding severe punishment for the culprits. However, it has once again forced us to think about the man-animal conflict that has been steadily escalating over the years. This pregnant elephant was the latest victim of this man-animal conflict.
These incidents forced us to think about the need of well- planned land use policy where the needs of forest dwellers and animals should be considered. For large vegetarian animals such as elephant, they need a large area to roam and feed. With increasing human population and human habitat extension, the pressure on forest land is increasing, leaving less wild areas for these animals. This lack of space for these animals often leads them in entering into the human habitat resulting in such mishap.
Not only bigger animals such as elephant but even deer, wild boar also start wandering in search of their food and often enter into the human territories which have been created by encroaching forest areas.
With the dwindling population of elephants as they are hunted for tusks, this man-animal conflict continues to remain a challenge. Humans continue to occupy more and more land reducing the forest and the habitat of these giants which often led them to enter in the fringes of forest occupied by humans.
However, this cracker trap was kept for the wild boars who cause damage to the farms and not for the elephant. Though, still barbaric even if it was supposed to stray the wild boars which force us to ponder upon the way humans treat animals. It is essential to educate the farmers to resort to the right practices and not to indulge in an illegal act of inflicting cruelty on any animals. However, this problem continues to exist till the time we do not draw boundaries and stop encroaching the forest areas. It is the time when we have to ensure that expansion and development should not disturb the balance of nature and there are enough measures taken to conserve the wildlife and their natural habitat.