Live Mint has compiled a report on deaths of wild elephants in India over the past eight years. Based on environment ministry data, it finds that an average of 80 elephants per years are killed by humans.
The largest cause of death is electrocution, then train accidents. While these may seem "accidental," one has to question whether preventive measures have been taken. Electric lines must be strung high enough and maintained well enough to avoid elephant contact. Alternative measures for railroad crossings must be available.
And these numbers do not include the deaths of captive elephants reported by Rajeen N. Kurup. His count in Kerala is two deaths a month for the past two years. And Kerala is only one state.
We should ask whether we have set adequate standards to protect elephants both in the wild and in captivity.
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College