GUWAHATI, Nov 19: The situation arising out of man-animal conflicts in Assam is “horrible” and one of “pure madness”, says Swiss-based film-maker and environmentalist Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky who is researching and shooting in Assam for her new film on man-elephant conflicts.
Speaking exclusively to News Live at Abhayjan in Golaghat district where a big herd of wild elephants entered tea garden localities leading to another frantic face-off with villagers, the film-maker and animal right activist said the situation in Assam is very alarming following encroachment of orest land which, she said, has been “horrible”.
“The situation is pure madness to be honest, pure madness. The behaviour of the people is not good. They should not chase the elephants; they should stay away from them and allow the herds to pass through,” Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky said, adding that the herds frequent these areas because it is “their territory and they know their ancient routes”.
“Encroachment of forest land is pretty horrible, mining is horrible. The poor animals are hungry. They are starving. And when it comes to reaching the water sources they have to make their way through areas now inhabited by human beings,” Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky added.
Speaking on the controversy surrounding the capture and subsequent death of the elephant that was named ‘Laden’ by villagers in Goalpara and subsequently rechristened ‘Krishna’, Kornetzky said sedating a wild animal for a long time so as to try and tame him is like “jailing him for ever”.
“To sedate a wild animal for this long with the objective of taming it is like jailing the animal for ever,” the environmentalist and film-maker said.
“It’s better that the elephant died,” she added questioning the manner in which the elephant was tranquilised and later translocated before it died under controversial circumstances.
“In Goalpara, ‘Laden’ the wild elephant had supposedly killed five people. But the names of the people are not published. I have not heard even one,” she further said.
The environmentalist and film-maker also highlighted the need to create animal corridors and buffer zones and also expressed concern over non-implementation of directives made by the Supreme Court.