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Regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

Dalma jumbo herd starts early migration to Bengal

Around 9 elephants take corridor leading to Nutandih, villagers asked to be vigilant and refrain from teasing them

Jayesh Thaker Jamshedpur Published 09.07.20, 09:58 PM
Elephants near a watering hole inside Dalma wildlife sanctuary

Elephants near a watering hole inside Dalma wildlife sanctuary Animesh Sengupta

An early migration for jumbos is on the cards as a herd of around 9 elephants, including calves, left the Dalma wildlife sanctuary for the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in neighbouring Bengal late on Wednesday evening.

Other jumbos would follow suit in two or three days.

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Elephants usually migrate to Bengal in August-September.

“The elephants are taking the migration corridor to Bengal early this time even though there is abundance of food and water available at the sanctuary. Most of the elephants are presently scattered at the pockets outside the 192 sq km sanctuary as well as the foothills,” a forester said.

Jumbos, who thrive in peaceful environments, had migrated early to Bengal in 2018 as well, owing to an encounter between Maoists and paramilitary forces that affected their normal schedule.

Trackers saw the elephant herd heading towards one of the migratory corridors leading to Nutandih on Wednesday.

Food would not be an issue as ample vegetation grows along the migratory corridor.

Villagers living along the corridors have been asked to be vigilant and not tease the elephants.

The elephants migrate to Bengal via two designated corridors – one from Jhunjka, leading to Nutandih, and the other from Burudih, passing through Narsingpur, Dalapani, Suklara and Aamdapahari.

Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra confirmed the early migration of jumbos.

“It depends upon the mood of the elephants. They usually migrate in August-September and amble back home in January-February,” he said.

50 out of the 152-odd elephants were sighted during the annual animal count conducted last month.

Other jumbos are scattered at pockets outside the sanctuary, 30 km from Jamshedpur, which was brimming with water.

A forester said, on condition of anonymity, that 25 jumbos have not migrated and are still at the sanctuary.

“These jumbos don’t migrate and stay anchored at the sanctuary throughout the year,” he said.

The jumbos may extend their stay in Bengal if water and food is found in abundance.

“They also stay anchored to a place on the return journey for the same reason. But usually, the pachyderms return to their abode in January-February,” he said.

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