July 4, Kathmandu: Jhapa district has witnessed a surge in elephant attacks, leading to multiple human casualties in recent years. The relentless terror caused by the elephants has impacted individuals both at work, within their homes, and particularly those employed in tea estates.
Forest officials in Jhapa have pointed out that elephants entering from India through Bahundangi forest, as well as those residing in community forests within Jhapa, pose a significant threat to human lives. Bahundangi serves as a major gateway for elephants migrating into Nepal from the Indian side.
During the current fiscal year, eight lives have been lost due to elephant attacks, while the previous fiscal year claimed six lives. According to the forest officials, the elephants intrude upon human settlements in search of food, resulting in unfortunate encounters.
Disturbingly, in recent years, elephants have even ventured into urban areas of the district. Rai noted that individual elephants wandering into human settlements are responsible for more casualties than those within elephant herds.
On Monday morning, an elderly person named Pannadevi lost her life on the spot after being attacked by an elephant while picking flowers in the Dhulabari bazaar area, as reported by Rai. Another victim, Kamala Dhimal, 38, from Buddhashanti Rural Municipality-5, sustained injuries and is currently receiving treatment at Birta City Hospital in Birtamod, according to the District Police Office.
The escalating number of elephant-related fatalities in the district raises concerns about the pressing issue of human-wildlife conflict.