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Tripura to use GPS collar for elephants to curb conflict with humans

Representational image. Tripura Forest Department has decided to fit GPS radio collar on elephants to trace their movements (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ElephantsIEF)

With the aim to minimise the human-animal conflict involving elephants, the Tripura Forest Department has decided to fit radio collars around these creatures. The use of global positioning system devices will enable the staff to track their movement in real time, said K.G.Roy, the Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden.

Roy talking to PTI said: “The radio collars will help us track the movement of the wild elephants. We can take measures to push them back to forests if found anywhere near human habitations.” The collars will be fitted by a Bengaluru-based firm.

Since 2019 more than 50 incidents of human-animal conflict involving elephants have been reported. Other States using the GPS collars for elephants are West Bengal, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh.

Tripura is also using other measures besides radio collars. A beekeeping project in agricultural lands has been started to prevent these mammals from invading the farms and villages. Also, to confine them to the forest, steps have been taken to grow bamboo and banana, informed Roy.

A proposal to install electric fences powered by solar energy has been sent by the Forest Department to the State Government. When sanctioned these will be put up in some of the villages in Teliamura subdivision of Khowai district as there have been many cases of elephant attacks there.

These fences give non-lethal shock and have been tried in Assam where they have proved useful in the Rani Forest Reserve close to Guwahati.

Elephants are being trained in Mungiakami camp in Dhalai district to patrol the conflict-prone areas. Such animals are also used in locating, rescuing injured and trapped elephants.