Mahuts of Dubare
In 2008: We are in Dubare elephant camp on a animal- human conflict story, because it had reach to a level at no tolerance. But the story I have find interesting is the life of Mahuts and their elephants. Their relations for decades. They proved that the intimacy can be developed by living with the animal. So where the conflict started? Such an obedient animal with intelligent mind. Here is the big question raised against the so called conflict. Who is actually culprits? Why this so?
Some facts: A hundred wild elephants died in 2008. The mortality count has already reached 60. Since 2001, there have been 636 recorded natural deaths while unnatural deaths in the same period stand at 775. Most of these giants have been killed by electric fences, shot or poisoned with cyanide by desperate farmers to protect their crops in Kodagu (Coorg) and Hassan districts in southern Karnataka. The human casualties too are heavy. Every year, 30-40 people are killed by pachyderms in Karnataka alone. Alarmed at the high number of casualties, the Karnataka High Court stepped in and asked the government to suggest measures to check elephant deaths.
The Court intervened late last year, when twelve elephants were shot, electrocuted and poisoned in a matter of weeks in southern Karnataka
pointing to a crisis in the human-elephant conflict which sems to have reached a point of no return. With the elephants rampaging fields and
farmers taking to the gun, the state forest department identified six troublesome beasts and decided to catch and translocate them to the
Dubare Elephant Camp in Kodagu. But translocating and taming the wild beasts seems to be no answer as man marches towards development,
diving headlong into traditional elephant corridors mitigating the conflict. The traditional elephant corridor is being encroached to
build nature resorts, farm lands, smuggle forest produce, indulge in hunting and trapping wild animals.
There are also demands from elected representatives to build or widen roads in forests, including national parks, and allow high-tension
power lines to go through them etc etc, Keep on developing for our gains! But hardly we think of whose land and who is encroached to whom’s land?