A senior forest official said that the West Bengal government has launched a drive in areas adjacent to elephant habitats in the northern parts of the state.
State Chief Wildlife Warden VK Yadav said that the campaign was launched on Saturday in villages and tea gardens in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts where elephants have died due to lightning recently.
However, it will be officially flagged off at a later date by Forest Minister Rajiv Banerjee.
“Forest workers are asking local people to fence in illegal wires and fields with tea gardens and live wires through public address systems.
“We are making people aware of the need to protect their wildlife and report criminal activities,” Mr. Yadav told PTI.
He said that priority has been given to the Baksa Tiger Reserve and the surrounding areas of Jaldapara and Gorumara National Parks.
“We have also campaigned in villages and tea gardens in Bagdogra and Naxalbari areas of Darjeeling district,” Mr. Yadav said.
He said that the issue of lightning deaths of elephants was discussed with the Additional Chief Secretary of the electricity department and he has instructed his officers to take strict action against the culprits.
The Forest Minister recently held a meeting with officials of the electricity department, forest officials and representatives of tea gardens during his visit to Siliguri, Mr. Yadav said.
He said that eleven elephants have died in North Bengal so far this year, six of which were due to electrification.
“We need to make people aware of the need for elephant protection,” he said.
Mr. Banerjee on Saturday pulled out three tableaux from the headquarters of the forest department in the metropolis, which would roam in Kolkata, Howrah, North and South 24 Parganas districts during Durga Puja days to spread the message of wildlife conservation, Mr. Yadav said. .
He said the MUV will display colorful images of wild animals and shout slogans on their conservation.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)