An elephant takes a life

A 62-year-old woman was killed by a lone tusker elephant at around 12:30 am on 4 June 2021 in Tintaley, Lhamoizingkha Dungkhag, Dagana. The incident was reported to police at around 1 am. The woman succumbed to her injuries when the medical team reached the place of occurrence.

Police said that the deceased was at her neighbor’s place for a dinner when they heard an elephant tearing down the jackfruits. The deceased had then stepped out of her friend’s house to go and safeguard her own house against the elephant, and that is the time when the tusker elephant caught up with her and attacked her.

It was learnt that the deceased’s left thigh was broken with major cut injuries around the groin area causing excessive bleeding. The same night, a few acres of nut trees were also damaged.

Meanwhile, Lhamoizingkha Gup Surja Bdr Limboo shared that human-wildlife conflict is always an issue, whereby there has not been any viable solution to address it. Though there were a number of cases of crops loss to wildlife, this is the first time that an elephant took a human life in the dungkhag.

“We have installed electric fencing, however, that is not sufficient to stop the wildlife from harming the settlement. The fencing gets rusted with time, whereby it stops working. So it is challenging, but we are still trying to manage things,” he added.

Drungpa Kinley Dorji, Lhamoizingkha Dungkhag, said that the situation is challenging and with no preventive measures to curb the problem. He said, “Elephants attack when we chase them or if we use anything to stop them from coming. If we let them go on about their own ways then they leave without causing any physical harm to people, but still then they cause damage to settlements and crops.”

There was an incident earlier when a person placed on duty at one of the Point of Entries was attacked by an elephant. However, he survived the attack with some minor injuries. The Gup added that there is no scheme to pay compensation to the affected family for any loss or injuries caused by human-wildlife conflict.

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