Third elephant radio-collared in Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand forest department on Thursday radio-collared a third elephant in the state this year and released it in a forest near Haridwar to keep track of its movement during the Maha Kumbh fair scheduled there from next month.

Chief wildlife warden JS Suhag said the elephant, who is around 40-year-old, is part of a herd of around six to seven elephants that frequently ventures into human habitations. “By radio-collaring this one, we will be able to monitor the movements of all of them during the Maha Kumbh.”

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A 35-year-old elephant was radio-collared in Haridwar in October before it died of electrocution a month later. In July, the carcass of a 25-year-old wild tusker was found in Almora a day after it was radio-collared.

The Centre permitted the state in September to radio-collar 10 elephants, who usually stray into human habitations.

The human-elephant conflict has increased in Uttarakhand with the increase in the elephant population. According to a census conducted earlier this year, the number of elephants has increased in the state to 2,026 from 1,559 in 2012. There were 1,839 elephants in the state in 2017.

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