Paddy comes to elephants’ rescue in Arunanchal
The state forest department and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) distributed around 10,000 kg of rice among 100 families living near the reserve in East Kameng district, around 100 km from the state capital Itanagar, under the grain-for-grain programme.
"People residing in the vicinity of Pakke are highly-affected by wildlife crop depredation problems. In 2011-2012, wild elephants extensively damaged crops of around 100 families of poor farmers," divisional forest officer of the reserve Tana Tapi told IANS.
"The grain is being distributed among these families as a measure to provide them some relief," he added.
The villages near the reserve fall in one of the worst human-elephant conflict zones in the northeastern region of the country. Some people even lose their houses when elephants enter human habitations, according to Tapi.
The grain-for-grain programme, conceptualised by WTI under a study funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, aims to reduce human retaliation against the pachyderms during human-elephant conflicts.