Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?


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Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?

Postby auhckw » Oct 11th, '10, 11:38

Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?
http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/were ... oned-57849

Press Trust of India, Updated: October 07, 2010 17:27 IST

Guwahati: Two elephant calves died of suspected poisoning in a tea estate near Kaziranga National Park in Assam's Golaghat district, officials said on Thursday.

The carcass of the calves, a male and female were found in Diffloo Tea Estate on Wednesday and forest officials suspected this to be a case of poisoning as the tongues and eyes of both the animals had turned blue, they said.

Pesticides were sprayed inside the tea garden and this could have poisoned the elephants.

The viscera of both the calves have been sent to the forensic laboratory for tests, the Estate manager Rajshekhar Dutta said.

However, Dutta denied that the elephants had died due to pesticide poisoning saying "we have been using the pesticide for a long time. If it was a case of pesticide poisoning, elephants who regularly visit our gardens and other cattle would have died earlier but no such cases have been reported."

He said that an enquiry would be conducted to ascertain the cause of the death of the elephants.
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Re: Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?

Postby auhckw » Oct 19th, '10, 11:31

Indian elephant deaths spark probe
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... =D9IRC50G0

By WASBIR HUSSAIN (AP) – 5 days ago

GAUHATI, India — India's environment minister has ordered a probe into a recent spate of wild elephant deaths, apparently as a result of accidental poisonings, near a remote northeastern wildlife refuge, officials said Thursday.

Four elephants, including two calves, have died over the past two weeks just outside the Kaziranga National Park, leading to widespread condemnation by animal rights activists.

The elephants are believed to have strayed out of the 480-square-kilometer (300-square-mile) park in search of food, and died after eating grass in a tea plantation that had been treated with pesticides to drive away ants, officials said.

More than half the park is flooded because of heavy rains, forcing elephants to roam into the surrounding area.

Pesticide use is heavily restricted in areas near the park.

"We have collected samples and have sent them for forensic tests," Assam Forest Minister Rokybul Hussain told The Associated Press. "We shall take stringent action under the Wildlife Protection Act against the tea plantation authorities if the tests confirm poisoning."

Deadly encounters between humans and wild elephants — whether on purpose or accidental — have spiked in recent years in the Indian northeast. The region has the world's highest number of wild Asiatic elephants, with 7,000 estimated in the states of Assam and Meghalaya alone.

About 700 people have been killed by elephants in the northeast in the past 19 years. Conservationists say rising elephant attacks on people are largely the result of the rapid shrinkage of their habitat.

The elephants often roam through villages looking for food.

Satellite imagery by India's National Remote Sensing Agency found that about 691,000 acres (280,000 hectares) of thick forests were cleared by people in Assam state between 1996 and 2000.
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Re: Were elephants at tea garden poisoned?

Postby auhckw » Oct 21st, '10, 09:05

Elephant deaths: Jairam wants action
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/eleph ... tion-61010

October 20, 2010 11:23 IST

Guwahati: Following the report on elephant deaths in tea gardens on the fringes of Kaziranga National Park, an anguished Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister of Forest and Environment has sent a letter to the Chief Minister of Assam asking for stringent action against those responsible for the alleged poisoning.

Last week NDTV had reported on four elephant carcasses found in three locations on the fringes of Kaziranga. Two were found dead in Diffolo Tea Estate, one near Methoni garden and another in adjacent elephant reserve of Karbi Anglong.

Tea gardens are known to use pesticides and weedicides which can be harmful for wild animals. An enquiry is being conducted on the exact nature of death.

Though the Garden authorities claim that they have been using only approved chemicals accumulated concentration of pesticides can be extremely toxic. NDTV has now been told by some of the garden staff that Thimet, a pesticide, may have been used at Diffolo Tea Estate.

"Most of the tea gardens are located in elephant reserves. The present incident also happened in an elephant reserve. Sometimes they are very callous in disposing off weedicides and insecticides .They just throw away. And they are accumulated in some waterholes and the elephant herd come at night and drink that water and get poisoned," said Dr Kushal Sharma, International Elephant Expert.

The worst tragedy of elephant poisoning was in Nameri in 2001 when villagers laced country liquor with a pesticide Demicron and killed 22 elephants. But the accountability must be fixed with the forest department which is responsible for the loss of wildlife habitat by allowing encroachments and allegedly conniving with timber mafias still very active across the state.
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