From ages we have heard about the wildlife damage cause to man, and what a threat they pose to the very existence of a human.There having been various conflicting situations between man and animals.For example, the recent case of a tiger killing a young teenage boy has been flooding the headlines.They have named the Tiger a ‘man-eater’ and so on and so forth.According to other statistics, wild elephants have killed at least 195 people in Orissa, during the last five years.The local population then retaliated by killing 98 elephants and injuring approximately 30 elephants either by electrocution or by hiding explosives in their fields.Such conflicts have mostly been seen in border regions of Corbett, Dudhwa,Palamu and Ranthambore National Park in India.
Causes Of Man-Animal Conflicts:
1)Habitat Destruction: Due to urbanization and increased demand for food and shelter, forests are being cut down.Yes, FORESTS -which are the natural habitat of wild species are being destroyed hence these animals move out to the nearby fields and attack the fields as well as humans.
2)Survival of the Fittest: As mentioned earlier the ever increasing needs of man, lead to destroying the natural habitat of wildlife and as such a conflict arises because it is an issue of survival of both.
3)The tendency to attack: When a wild animal gets injured or becomes weak then it develops a tendency to attack humans.Moreover, the female wild animals often attackman following their motherly instincts, i.e., they tend to attack humans if they feel that their newborn are in danger.Animals tend to become man-eaters once they taste human flesh.
4)Shortage of food: When there is a shortage of staple food for animals in sanctuaries and national parks, then the animals tend to move in search of food and end up destroying nearby fields.
5)Intrusion: When the migratory routes of wildlife are intruded by humans by the construction of roads, houses etc. then by default there will be a conflict between the two.
6)Revenge: Often when farmers are not paid enough by the concerned authorities for the damage caused by these wild animals then they develop a sense of revenge and attack the animals to avoid any further damage to their crops or life.
Measures to curb the conflict:
1)Making available adequate food for the wildlife: Wildlife often tends to move out of the forest zones in search of food and water that sometimes is not available within the forest zones.If adequate food, fodder and water are made available to the animals, the possibility of them moving out of their habitat and posing a risk to the outside world will be reduced.
2)Government Compensation: The government should make sure that they provide adequate compensation to the farmers who suffer because of the damage caused the wildlife.
3)Cropping Pattern: The farmers, should take clever steps to prevent the wildlife from attacking their crops by adopting different cropping patterns.For example, the forest borders can be cultivated with crops that are not liked by the wild animals so that such crops aren’t destroyed, and the animals won’t move out from the forest zone.
4)Proper steps to be taken during unfavorable periods: Wildlife corridors should be provided for migratory animals, during conditions where it is risky for the animals to migrate in the normal path as.During conditions of the construction of roads, houses, etc. such wildlife corridors should be provided.
5)Fully Equipped Personnel: The people working in and around the forests, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, etc. should be provided with proper tools and requirements for vehicles, radio, tranquilizer guns, etc. to make use in times of emergency.
6)Security: To prevent the wildlife from entering into fields and damaging the crops good fences have to be put on the fields so that it will be difficult for them to enter the fields and destroy the crops or cause damage to people.
So, now that we have seen and understood the age-old conflict between man and wild, the various reasons for such a conflict and the possible measures that can be taken to minimize this rivalry we can conclude that the conflict is just in our minds.No one is good or no one is bad.It’s just two parties fighting to survive and to protect themselves.What we need to understand is that we are humans.We are superior to these animals as we have an ability to reason and differentiate between right and wrong.We need to understand the we have a responsibility to conserve the biodiversity and not destroy it ourselves.We need to give the wild their freedom and space rather than encroaching on their natural habitat.If it becomes that important that we encroach their habitat, then we should morally provide them a good place to live in.Killing animals is not a solution for the conflict we face.We end up killing so many innocent wildlife just because we want to eliminate one or two man-eaters.We need to realize that their is a difference between animals and us.Can’t we behave like them, right? We instead need to take up necessary measures so that both of us are benefited.Wildlife and humans ought to live interdependently to maintain balance in the economy!Yes, our safety is important too but hurting and killing animals isn’t the solution.Instead, we can take up the above measures so that both humans and wildlife can live in harmony with one another and the rich biodiversity of our country remains intact!Let each one of us strive to attain this goal.Every thought and every little action do matter eventually. Always remember animals never kill for sport! So let this not be a world of ‘man v/s wild’ instead, let it be the world of ‘man with wild.’