Two persons including a woman were killed and several houses damaged when a wild elephant went on a rampage at Junglebasti village in Amlakhi Tea Estate near Kaliabor in Nagaon district of Central Assam on Sunday night.
Forest staff rushed to the spot and chased the marauding elephant away that probably strayed away from a herd. The incident occurred at 1.30 am on Sunday night at Amlakhi Tea Garden. The dead are identified as Litiya Lakra and Rumi Lakra.
The elephant population has been on the rise in various habitats in Assam where man-elephant conflict has already reached an alarming proportion.
A recent elephant census carried out by Assam forest department has revealed that the state is an abode for around 5,620 elephants that are spread over 20 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks including two world heritage sites Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Manas National Park (MNP). While these 25 wildlife protection areas house 3,054 elephants, the rest are found in reserve forest areas of the state. There are 50 elephants roaming around revenue reserve areas in the state.
The census report further claimed presence of elephant in the forests of Karbi Anglong, Dihing Patkai and the Lungding reserve forest. Among the sanctuaries, the KNP has the highest number of 1,165 elephants followed by Manas with 645 elephants.
Manas Park records the highest density of elephants among the national parks with 189 per 100 sq km followed by 135.63 per 100 sq km in Kaziranga Park and 5.08 per 100 sq km in Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park. The Nameri National Park in Sonitpur district and Barnadi Sanctuary are also among the important elephant habitat in the state.
Meanwhile, Assam forest department has deployed a rapid action force in areas prone to man-elephant conflicts that is a consequence of encroachment in elephant movement corridors by humans.
The study of age-wise structure of elephants shows 51 per cent increase in the population of adult category, 20 per cent in the sub-adult, 12 per cent juvenile and 17 per cent increase in the calves. The male-female ratio and its percentage are 1:1.2 and 45 to 55 per cent respectively.