Starting in October 2011, Wildlife Alliance has recorded 85 elephant sightings – a dramatic increase over past years. This trend is of obvious concern as it indicates an increase in illegal logging and other forms of habitat destruction, all of which is forcing the elephants out of the forest and into villages and other populated areas.
While many of these sightings consist of elephant footprints or droppings, providing proof that the elephants were there, a majority of these occurrences have consisted of elephants actually coming into contact with people. These incidents – some examples of which are below – can be dangerous for humans and elephants alike.
“Forest Ranger Patrol Unit encountered a male elephant crossing the road back and forth, while trying to attack a Lexus. The Unit stopped all cars to avoid an accident and no one was hurt.”
“Forest Ranger Patrol Unit received a call indicating that an elephant had wondered onto a busy road and was interrupting traffic. The unit moved to block all traffic as well as stopping the hundreds of sugar cane plantation workers who attempted to attack the elephant. Conflict was avoided and after 2 days the elephant left the road, unharmed.”
“5 elephants were seen along a road through a sugar cane plantation in Kompong Som Valley. They stayed several hours eating sugar cane. By the time that the Patrol Unit was able to respond after their operation in the forest, only one elephant remained and they were able to provide protection for this elephant until he left.”
While so far all humans and elephants have remained safe, human – elephant conflict can lead to causalities on both sides. The work that Wildlife Alliance does in alternative livelihoods, creating opportunities for rural villagers to make a living outside of illegal logging or slash and burn farming, helps keep habitat destruction to a minimum. Furthermore, the support and protection provided by the Forest Ranger Patrol Units helps insure that when conflict does arise, everyone stays safe and can coexist peacefully. Donate today and help us keep the elephantssafe.
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Communications and Finance Field Liaison