Number of elephants increases in Nepal, study showsThe number of elephants in the wild has increased over two-fold since 2008, according to the study carried out by conservationist Dr Ashok Ram.
The number of wild elephants in Nepal has increased to around 400, according to a recent study. There were around 150 elephants in the wild until 2008.
A study carried out by conservationist Dr Ashok Ram for his doctoral degree from the Wildlife Institute of India, found that the number of elephants in the wild has increased over two-fold.
However, the number of elephants and humans killed due to human-elephant conflicts has also increased. In the past 20 years, 39 elephants have been killed as a result of human-elephant conflict. Of them, 34 elephants died due to electrocution while six of them were shot to death. In Jhapa district alone, 15 elephants have been killed in the last 15 years.
According to the study, there are around 227 native elephants across the country while some 120-150 elephants come from the Indian side of the border. The elephants from the Indian side come from West Bengal, which has recorded around 600 elephants and enter Nepal through Jhapa and Bardiya districts.
Some of the migrating elephants stay back with the native population while some of them return to India,” said Shankar Luitel, who works in the conservation of the elephants.
Likewise, there are around 176 domesticated elephants at various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Of them, 99 elephants are being domesticated through government aid while 77 of them are being raised by private owners.
The study found that there were 113 wild elephants along the Banke-Bardiya National Park Area Corridor, followed by 45 in the Chitwan-Parsa area, 26 in Shuklaphanta, 19 in Jhapa and 16 in Koshi.
Meanwhile, 274 people have died in elephant attacks. Among the deceased, the highest number of people who died in the conflict were from Jhapa where 41 people had lost their lives in elephant attacks, while Mahottari and Nawalparasi recorded one death each.
After Jhapa, Bardiya has seen the most number of human casualties due to elephant attacks recording 40 deaths, followed by Chitwan which recorded 26 deaths. Similarly, 23 people were killed in elephant attacks in Saptari, 21 in Parsa, 20 in Bara, 16 each in Siraha and Udayapur, 15 in Sunsari, nine each in Sindhuli and Dhanusa, eight in Morang, seven in Rautahat, five each in Sarlahi, Makwanpur and Kanchanpur; four in Ilam and two in Banke.
Over 100 people have been seriously injured in elephant attacks across the 20 districts, according to Dr Ram’s study.
As per the study, wild elephants were responsible for destroying crops and farmlands of 6,606 people while the physical properties of 3,775 people have also been destroyed by elephants throughout the country.