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Bamboo seed balls, a boon for elephants in Athagarh forest division

6/08/2020 at 4:13 PM

Cuttack, Aug 6: Germination of bamboo has brought cheers to the forest-side residents of Athgarh forest division in Cuttack district – one of the epicenters of man-elephant confrontation in the state.

As bamboo shoots are the most-favoured food of jumbos, the germination has raised hopes of curbing elephants from raiding human habitations in search of food.

The forest division has been preparing bamboo seed balls by community involvement and dropping those to enrich elephant habitats in the 38 reserve forests of Athgarh forest division.

“One quintal of bamboo seeds were brought from silviculture Division at Jashipur , Baripada which  would be thrown in the open patches inside the dense forests. Once the shoots come out of the plants, the animals’ interference into villages will definitely come down,” said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Sasmita Lenka.

Athagarh forest division is one of the worst-hit areas due to straying of elephants into villages.

The elephants coming from Chandaka Dampada Sanctuary raid villages at Athagarh and Khuntuni Range of our Division to eat standing crops, causing damage to fruit-bearing trees and vegetable plants besides damaging human settlements. Humans also get killed as there are several instances of marauding elephants crushing them to death in past.

“Last year we threw around 950 kg of bamboo seeds in several locations of our division and inside our own departmental nurseries. We got positive a result out of this .The survival percentage of this was around 50 percent to 60 percent. This year we decided to adopt it in massive scale. We are hopeful that the bamboo seed ball plantation would be a solution to elephant- man conflict in long term,” she added.

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