Human-animal conflicts: Dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala’s Wayanad district


PTI, Feb 17, 2024, 11:36 AM IST

Shops remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads in Kerala’s Wayanad on Saturday where the ruling LDF, opposition UDF and BJP have called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal seeking permanent solutions to the wild elephant menace in the region.

Angry agitators blocked the vehicular traffic along the major routes in the district that connect Karnataka and other parts of the state a day after an eco tourism guide of the forest department died after being attacked by an elephant near Kuruva island. Paul encountered the elephant while stationed near the Eco Tourism centre to turn away people from the area due to the ongoing operation to capture the jumbo which had trampled to death another man last Saturday.

Last week, Aji (42) was trampled to death by the elephant in the Mananthavady area of the district triggering massive protests in Wayanad. Locals had gathered in large numbers and demanded that the state government take action and provide compensation to the victim’s family.

Major towns like Kalpetta, Bathery, Mananthavady, Lakidi and other places saw complete shut down today.

Meanwhile, state Forest Minister A K Saseendran termed as ‘unfortunate’ the death of Paul and assured that necessary help would be provided to his family.

The elusive pachyderm is yet to be caught despite the Forest department roping in several Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), ‘kumki’ elephants and even a thermal camera to detect the animal in the dense forests in the area.

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