Indore: Wild elephants are returning to Madhya Pradesh after 100 to 150 years, but this pleasant news comes with a bitter one, where a person from Ujjain was caught with jewellery made from elephant tusks. With the return of elephants, the rising crime against them is threatening their habitat.
On the eve of World Elephant Day that is celebrated to protect the largest land animal, Rohit son of Jeevan Bislawat was caught in illegal trading of jewellery made from elephant tusks. The accused is resident of Ujjain
Asian elephants as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
Good News: With tigers, wild elephants find their way back home as well
Madhya Pradesh has been home to elephants since ancient times. “Akhbarnama, the scripture which is about 400 years old, also mentions that the strongest and royal elephants were found near Chanderi, MP,” Rajneesh Singh, forest officer (wildlife), said.
Though no elephants were found in MP for the last 150 years, they have always had a home here. With forest department taking several initiatives to provide a conducive environment for the tiger population, other wildlife has also reared the benefits of these efforts.
“As turtles born on Indian shore know their way back to Australia, the same way these elephants have somehow found their way back home to MP from other states,” Singh said.
As of today, MP now has three locations where we have wild elephants. Though domesticated elephants are found in almost all the national parks of the state, the return of wild elephants is a positive sign.
Where are wild elephants in MP now?
Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve: Set in Sidhi district, Sanjay-Dubri is not only home to tigers but also elephants now. More than 10 elephants have made the reserve their home. For decades, elephants have been travelling to and from Chhattisgarh here. Now, with conducive environment, many stay here making the reserve their home.
Bandhavgarh National Park: More than 124 tigers stay here and now, the largest land animals have also taken their bit in the large national park. Over 40 wild elephants stay here. It is the highest population as yet of elephants tracked in a reserve.
Kanha Tiger Reserve: The largest national park of the state recently became home for 2 wild elephants. The two wild elephants found their way to Kanha from Narsinghpur forest during the lockdown. The two have found their way to MP from Odisha and after travelling to many districts including Mandla, Seoni, Annupur, Bundelkhand, etc. are now staying at Kanha.
Sad News: Illegal trade of elephant tusks
On the instructions of the Central Government and the State Government, the State Level Tiger Strike Force (STSF) is continuously taking action against the illegal trade of wild animals' ingredients on the Central Media Platform.
Based on the information received from Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Headquarters in this direction, STSF Bhopal, Tiger Strike Force, Indore, and wildlife crime control bureau, Madhya Pradesh, followed Bislawat and caught him on Ujjain bypass road. The accused riding a motorcycle was questioned on the basis of suspicion and searched for elephant tusks.
Bislawat was caught with three jewellery items made from elephant tusks and monitor lizard body parts. As shared by official teams, 3 components (two jewelled bracelets and one bangle) were made from elephant rusk.
Further, two ‘hatha jodi’ (a tantric object) made from pangolin scales were confiscated.