7 June 2022.
An elephant rescue centre has been established by the forest department of Bihar at Valmiki Tiger Reserve at West Champaran district of Bihar.
- The elephant rescue centre will be used to rehabilitate stray, abandoned and injured elephants.
- This facility is yet to be approved by central government.
About Valmiki Tiger Reserve
- Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in West Champaran district of Bihar, spreading over 899 square kilometres.
- Nepal is located to its north while Uttar Pradesh is located to its west.
- The tiger reserve provides perfect atmosphere for elephant habitation.
- There are 40 tigers in the reserve.
- In recent time, several elephants stray into the Tiger reserve from neighbouring Chitwan National Park in Nepal.
- They stayed for a few months and returned soon. It suggests that, friendly habitat of Valmiki Tiger Reserve attracts them.
- Currently, there are four elephants at rescue centre in eastern state.
- Forest department had brought them from Karnataka in 2018.
- Forests in Bihar don’t have any elephants currently.
Training to forest officials
Forest officials will be trained by experts from forest and wildlife institute of Dehradun, to rescue stray elephants as well as take care of them in natural habitat.
Drawbacks of the plan
- There is a risk of human-animal conflicts. It is not a new thing but chances will remain high.
- Elephants stray into Bihar either from Parsa and Chitwan wildlife sanctuary of Nepal or forest of Jharkhand. They have damaged thatched houses, attacked people as well as damaged standing maize crops in Seemanchal region.
- Stray elephants also enter populated areas, mostly rural, for food and favorable habitat.
Chitwan National Park
It is a preserved area, located in Terai Lowlands of south-central Nepal. It is known for its biodiversity. Dense forests and grassy plains of the park are home to rare mammals such as Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinos. A Hindu pilgrimage site, Balmiki Ashram, is located inside the National Park.