Wildlife attacks in Kerala claim 123 lives in 18 months – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: By making many multi-crore projects toothless, the deadly human-wildlife conflict in the state continues to fester. The death of a 50-year-old farmer in Puthussery, Mananthavady of Wayanad last week is just the latest in a string of incidents that have claimed 123 lives in the past 18 months. More than sixty of them are snake bite cases.

As per the data released by the Forest Department, the state has reported 88,287 cases of human-wildlife conflict between June 2021 and December 2022. A total of 8,707 incidents of crop and property damage have also been reported. Eastern Forest Circle, which consists of Palakkad, Nilambur, Mannarkkad and Nenmara forest divisions, was the worst hit with 43 deaths. It also accounted for nearly 15% of crop and property damage cases. Southern Forest Circle is second on the list with 30 deaths and 1,252 cases of crop loss.

What further aggravates the situation is the long delay in paying compensation to victims. From the data of the department it appears that there are still 8,231 applications for compensation pending. Wayanad, one of the districts worst hit by wild animal attacks, has more than 2,000 cases gathering dust.

“The existing measures have proved futile,” said TC Jose, the chairman of the Wayanad Action Committee to Prevent Wildlife Attack. “The government should now consider steps to control the wildlife population,” Jose said. “Setting up rope screens of the Mankulam model crash guard is also an effective method”, the chairman noted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *