Bengaluru: Although the government has not yet received the elephant census, it believes there is enough evidence to suggest that the jumbo population of Karnataka has gone up significantly in recent years.
Forest Minister R Shankar, who was replying to Mr Ivan D’ Souza of the Congress in the Council on Wednesday, said according to reports, the elephant population had increased in Mysuru, Madikeri, Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagalur, Shivamogga, Hassan, Uttara Kannada, Mangaluru, Ramanagar, Tumakuru and Bengaluru Rural. While the census of 2012-13 placed the number of jumbos in the state at 6072, the latest 2017-18 count of the forest department was awaited.
He revealed that as many as 92 people had been killed in man-elephant conflict over the last three years and Rs 4.5 crore had been given as compensation to the affected families. Assuring that several measures had been taken to prevent frequent raiding of villages by elephants, he said they included improvised solar fences, construction of water tanks for wild animals, building of elephant-proof trenches and setting up of rapid response teams to chase straying elephants back into forests.