The man-elephant conflict in the lower Assam districts of Nalbari and Kamrup has escalated since the New Year, prompting the Nalbari district administration to issue an advisory for residents. The advisory outlines dos and don’ts, addressing the increased encounters between elephants and human habitats. A herd of elephants recently entered the Ghograpar area in search of food, resulting in crop damage and animal fatalities.
According to the Nalbari district administration, 52 families have been affected, with six houses and over 157 bighas of crops damaged by elephants. The district commissioner, Varnali Deka, mentioned that the advisory was issued after consulting with the forest department, especially since the local population is not well-versed in dealing with wild elephants. The elephants initially approached from the foothills of Bhutan and, after initially being confined to Baksa district, moved to Nalbari over the past two to three months.
The advisory instructs people to control vehicle speed, avoid honking on highways when elephants are present, and wait for the herd to leave. It prohibits the use of firecrackers to chase away elephants and taking selfies with them. People are also advised not to venture into forest areas in the evening and to use chili powder to deter elephants from human habitats.