Kerala calls for amendments to wildlife protection laws amid escalating human-animal conflicts

AK Saseendran | File Photo: Manorama
Forest Minister AK Saseendran. Photo: Manorama

Thrissur: Forest Minister A K Saseendran on Sunday convened a high-level meeting of top forest officials in Thrissur. Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan was also part of the meeting, which was called to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the forest department in facing the challenges posed by the increasing human-animal conflicts in the state.

The meeting was called in the context of the killer elephant Belur Makana playing keep away with the forest officials while roaming human habitats in Mananthavadi. The failure of the forest department to track the radio-collared animal and the alleged lack of inter-state coordination was the primary focus of the discussion.

Speaking to the media, Saseendran said: "Once captured, the animal would be taken to the Muthanga elephant camp and released in the interiors after the mandatory health check-up.”

On queries over the threat to human life in releasing such animals back to the jungle, Saseendran said the department is in touch with the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to ensure necessary changes are introduced in the laws concerned on dealing with such animals on a war footing.

Saseendran also said two additional RRTs would be constituted in Wayanad to deal with the recurring human-animal conflict. "To address the lack of inter-state coordination in border districts, a high-level coordination committee would also be formed. As Wayanad jungles share borders with both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, a special cell would be constituted for the district alone," said the minister.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.