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Monday, November 28, 2011

Herds of wild elephants roaming in Paneri TE (Assam) in search of food and water



Scarcity of food and water due to encroachment of most of all the forest lands,several herds of wild elephants, consisting of about 30 to 50 elephants per herd have been roaming in and around Paneri TE in Udalguri district of Assam since November 24.This has caused panic among the locals of neighbouring villages. The elephants with numbers of new born elephant calves have taken shelter in Paneri tea garden,particularly section 11 and 4.Civil and forest personnel have been trying to chase them away to Bhutan hills but have not been successful as yet. DN Hazarika,Circle Officer Harisinga Revenue Circle, Tangla; Haladhar Kalita,Range Officer,Nonai Range Office under Khalingduar Reserve Forest in association with Manager of Paneri TE made an attempt to chase away the wild elephants on November 27, but the attempt bore no result. Only a few wild elephants moved away to northern side of the tea garden towards Indo-Bhutan border that day. According to information the herd of wild elephants have not moved away because of the new born elephant calves,who can not travel over large distances.


When this correspondent visited the site on November 28, a herd of wild elephants numbering 40 to 50 with new borns were seen. In spite of attempts to scare away the elephants with gun fire and crackers, they did not move nor did they show any signs of aggression,but slowly retreated away from the people. A few forest guards namely -Tarini Kalita,Chakra Sil and Monindra Sarma were seen busy with their duties on the spot. They told this correspondent that the herd would retreat to the Bhutan hills after a few days as it was difficult for them to carry the new born calves along with them. Ranjan Barua,Senior Asst.Manager of Paneri TE; members of Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society headed by its CEO Ananta Bagh and members of Tangla Press club etc also joined the operation to chase away the elephants unharmed. An awareness meeting will be held at Paneri TE on November 30.Thaneswar Malakar,DC,Udalguri and Bankim Sarma,DFO,Udalguri will attend the meeting to create awareness among the people for the safety of people and the wild elephants.

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