Free Press Journal

There’s reason enough for a Jumbo smile


New Delhi : With the pious Ganesh festival round the corner, a good news emanating from the deep and dense forests of the country has warmed the cockles of wildlife enthusiasts. On the World Elephant Day, celebrated across the country today, the official census figure was announced here which is quite satisfactory according to experts.

As per the most scientific census done so far of the Asian elephants, the figure stands at 27,312. India’s celebrated elephant expert, Dr R Sukumar released the figures in Delhi . Sukumar said he was happy that with a new approach to census, the figures across four zones of the country showed a trend of stable population. He said a large number of elephants were in private possession for religious and other purposes and they were not included in the latest census of 2017. Close to 30,000 elephants are estimated to be present in India, almost the same number of the last census of 2012.

On the lines of the Project Tiger of 1973, Elephant Project was launched by Government in 1992 and in 2012 a special task force was formed by the name ‘Gajah’. On the basis of the report elephant was declared the ‘national heritage animal’.

Karnataka which also has among the highest numbers of tigers, topped the chart having 6,049 elephants, once again proving that the conservation measures are well in place in the state.

The N-E region shows presence of 10,139 tuskers, the northern region with Uttarakhand and UP states having 2,085, East-central consisting Odisha, CG, Jharkhand and Maharashtra recording 3,128 jumbos and southern region with Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu among other leaving all other regions way behind with 11,960 number of pachyderms in their forests. Maharashtra has just 06 elephants and states like MP and Telangana have none.

India’s leading elephant specialist Vivek Menon said on the ocassion. Speaking to FPJ, he said that protecting forests corridors and elephant passages and safeguarding them from speeding trains is a must to keep the population stable and protected.