Human Elephant Conflict

February 14th, 2013 | Posted in Vibhishana

Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) is a major threat to the survival of Asian elephants.  Due to loss and fragmentation of habitat, elephants and people often find themselves in deadly or injurious conflict.

In most cases, a wild herd will roam onto a farmer’s land in search of food.  It only takes one crop raid by a wild herd to destroy a family’s entire income for one year.  To protect themselves and their livelihood, the villagers use many techniques such as noise-makers, lighting firecrackers, shooting guns, village elephant drives, setting traps, poison, digging trenches, and installing electric fences.

Human encroachment on the elephant’s ancestral lands also leads to elephant injury and death due to power line electrocution, animal traps, snares, train accidents, falling into wells and mines.

In Sri Lanka, approximately 200 elephants and 70 people are killed every year due to HEC.  Most of the elephants at the Elephant Transit Home were orphaned due to HEC.

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