The Telegraph
Monday , September 1 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Jumbo birth control

- Contraception drive in north to check man-animal conflict

Aug. 31: The Bengal government has decided to inject female elephants with contraceptive medicines to check the jumbo population in north Bengal where jumbos repeatedly attack human settlements near forests and the animals also fall casualty to train hits.

Binoy Krishna Burman, the state forest minister, who visited Bodaganj in Jalpaiguri district today, said: “We have decided to inject the contraceptive medicine into female elephants to control their population in north Bengal. The females would be darted with the medicine as we initiate the process. Experts from South Africa will visit our state to help our officials and employees in implementing the programme.”

According to Burman, over 500 elephants reside in the reserve forests of north Bengal.

Added to that are the migratory elephants that maraud in the region from neighbouring Bhutan and Assam.

“As far we know, this is the first-of-a-kind initiative in the country. Initially, we intend to dart 100 females. A sum of Rs 20 lakh would be spent for this purpose,” the minister said.

According to sources, the contraceptive injection, known as PZP or Porcine Zona Pellucida, is an injection that needs to be injected into the muscle of the animal. This can be done by hand or by a dart. Normally, each animal is darted twice the first year, with the first injection being given up to a year before a booster, just ahead of the breeding season. Thereafter, a single annual booster inoculation will maintain contraception.