Wild Elephants Destroy Human Habitat After Illegal Logging

Diphu October 1: A large herd of wild elephant including babies ventured into Bi Vopi Tokbi village, a small settlement of Karbi tribes located in the fringe area of Hamren forest range. Hamren is in the western part of Karbi Anglong. At around 11.00 PM yesterday, the elephants came out of the core area of the forest, looking for fodder, chiefly due to the massive destruction of wildlife habitat caused by illegal logging.

Rajagaon area of Hamren range located across the now swelled up Karbi Langpi River could not thwart the ravenous elephants that swam a long distance to reach the village.

The famished group of elephants, after pulling down five thatched houses devoured the stock of paddy which was kept in the backyard of the huts. Fortunately the villagers instead of resisting the wild creatures moved to a safe distance to avoid a straight clash. Forest department officials and Baithalangso police identified the suffering family heads as Omphu Kramsapi, Mongol Terang,Basa Tokbi and Sodar Bey.

According to villagers Rajagaon beat of the range was covered with thick undergrowth and outsized trees, presence of substantial quantity of elephant silage was there within the habitat area of the giant.

“Ample natural feed kept the large animals mood happy and they hardly ventured into human habitation just before 10 years also; due to utter negligence of the Forest department who in a way has turned mentor of the timber smugglers now, the natural forest has been cleaned out. This condition has forced the elephants to hunt for food outside their habitat resulting in confrontation with people who also inhabit near forested area for their traditional occupation. On the top of that, various government agencies without assessing any environmental impact on the forest and wildlife of the area have encouraged establishing amenities of human life like school, village market and dwelling houses which drastically has reduced the buffer zone of the forest accompanied with other adversities for the wildlife and forest,” Dhonsing Ronghang a wildlife activist of Diphu said.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.