Kerala HC forms expert committee to address human-wildlife conflicts

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Officials attempt to guide Arikomban to truck with the help of Kumki elephants | Photo: B Muraleekrishnan/ Mathrubhumi

Kochi: A five-member expert committee has been formed by the Kerala High Court to study and submit a report on the human-wildlife conflicts in residential areas. The court came up with the decision when it was considering a plea on the Arikomban issue. The order has been issued by a division bench comprising Justice A K Jayashankaran Nambiar and Justice P Gopinath.

Senior lawyer at the HC and amicus curiae S Ramesh Babu is the convenor of the committee. Forest Additional Principal Chief Conservator (Vigilance and Forest Intelligence) G Pramod, former Additional Principal Chief Conservator OP Kaler, Dr M Anathakumar from Nature Conservation Foundation, and Chennai Care Earth Trust Chairman Dr PS Eesa are the other members of the committee.

The committee has been instructed to identify human-wildlife conflict areas and also to recommend long-term and short-term solutions.

They have been asked to give suggestions on restoring elephant pathways as well.

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The committee will oversee the operations of task forces at the panchayat level and submit a report at the end of every month.

Medical attention for Manu and Abhimanyu

The HC has ordered immediate medical attention for Abhimanyu, the elephant at Elephant Rehabilitation Center, Kappukadu, Thiruvananthapuram. Dr NVK Ashraf has been instructed to offer treatment to weakening legs of the animal.

Earlier, Acting Chief Justice S V Bhatti who visited Kodanad Elephant Training Centre had informed the court that the plight of Abhimanyu is deplorable. The division bench has recommended expert care for the animal which is suffering from low vision as well.

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