Two elephant reserves being set up in Tripura

Gumati wildlife sanctuary in South Tripura district is inadequate as an elephant reserve with its present size

PTI | May 4, 2011



Concerned over the frequent influx of wild elephants in the human habitats in search of food, forest department in Tripura has started work to establish two elephant reserves in the state.

"The demarcation of elephant reserve aims at ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants, promotion of measures for mitigation of man-elephant conflict in crucial habitats, reducing impact of human and domestic activities in crucial elephant habitats and strengthening of measures for protection of wild elephants from poachers and unnatural causes of death," principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) R P Tangwan said on Wednesday.

"The jumbos here mainly live on bamboo, which has been severely destroyed over the past few years. So they are coming to the locality in search of food and ravaging the hamlets," he said.

Since Gumati wildlife sanctuary in South Tripura district is inadequate as an elephant reserve with its present size the department of forest has decided to set up these two reserves.

First reserve will be set up encompassing in the Tulashikjhar block and some portions of Mungiakami block along the foothills of Atharamura hill range in West Tripura district while the second one would cover Amarpur-Maharani area along the foothills of both Atharamura and Deotamura in South Tripura district.

As many as 55 elephants reside in Tulshikhar block in West Tripura district and over 25 jumbos live in Aamarpur-Maharani area in South Tripura district.

As a part of the construction of reserve area, the department is digging 20 feet deep elephant proof trances along the border of the reserve area under MGNREGA schemes.

"We have started the process of digging trenches. Only earth work is necessary to complete the project. But the completion of the task depends on the availability of fund with the blocks concerned," Tangwan said adding department is planting bamboo saplings inside the reserve area so that the elephants get plenty of their favourite food.

Meanwhile, construction of one new Bison reserve is also under progress in Trishna wildlife sanctuary in South Tripura district.

As many as 70 bisons live in the Trishna sanctuary.

Forest department would produce 100 hectares of grass land for consumption of the bison in the sanctuary.

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