3 elephants walking down road

Mother Elephant and Her Calf Attacked with Firebombs as Deforestation Drives Them Into the Paths of Humans

A Premiere Daily Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too impactful to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may surprise you, make you smile, or even shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little extra to your day.

You may have seen the harrowing images of two elephants escaping a firefight. The sad part? Those balls of fire are being hurled toward them.

The heartbreaking event occurred in 2019 in the Indian village of Bishnupur in West Bengal. As reported by the Independent, a group of men began attacking the elephants because they had damaged villagers’ crops. (1)

Historically, India has revered the elephant. Sadly, however, increasing rates of deforestation are causing many to leave their habitat and come into conflict with humans.

But as elephants — an endangered species — find themselves trying to survive with less and less natural habitat, their conflict with humans is ever-increasing.

Advertisement
Elephant and Her Calf Attacked with Firebombs

Biplab Hazra, a photographer who managed to capture some photographs of the incident, told Caters News Agency: (2)

Advertisement

This happens because the villagers have to save their crops. There are many elephant corridors in human habitations. I’m trying to show this and spread my photos to increase public awareness on the matter.”

Facts about the Indian elephant

Indian elephants, according to the World Wildlife Fund, (3) feed on grasses (mostly), tree bark, roots, leaves, and small stems. They also sometimes eat bananas, rice, and sugarcane.

They feed for about 19 hours per day and produce up to 220 pounds of dung in the same amount of time.

Advertisement

Read: Do animals have feelings? This baby elephant cried for 5 hours after his mother rejected him

Advertisement

Why does this matter?

As Indian elephants wander an average of 125 square miles per day, the dung they produce helps disperse germinating seeds.

Ironically, humans are attacking the very animal that can play a crucial role in their crop production.

Another reason why preserving their species is that Indian elephants help maintain the forests’ and grassland habitats’ integrity.

Currently, there are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Indian elephants left. In combination with attacks like the one above, illegal encroachment into protected areas for the sake of developments (e.g., roads and commercial establishments) are leaving them without:

Trending Now

Detection of electrical signaling between tomato plants raises interes...
Detection of electrical signaling between tomato plants raises interes...
Bill Gates released swarm of mosquitos into audience while talking abo...
Bill Gates released swarm of mosquitos into audience while talking abo...
A new, genetically modified purple tomato may hit the grocery market s...
A new, genetically modified purple tomato may hit the grocery market s...
FDA Warns Against Using NyQuil As A Chicken Marinade
FDA Warns Against Using NyQuil As A Chicken Marinade
Travelers are slamming Airbnb chore lists that tell guests to mow the ...
Travelers are slamming Airbnb chore lists that tell guests to mow the ...
Vertical Greenhouse to Grow 2M Pounds of Produce
Vertical Greenhouse to Grow 2M Pounds of Produce
Fortune Teller Nostradamus has made five chilling predictions for 2023
Fortune Teller Nostradamus has made five chilling predictions for 2023
People Reveal the Unethical Brands That They Refuse to Buy From
People Reveal the Unethical Brands That They Refuse to Buy From
Nearly 70 decomposing bodies left to rot in suitcases for an important...
Nearly 70 decomposing bodies left to rot in suitcases for an important...
Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made
Agriculture: The Worst Mistake Humans Ever Made
Michigan man charged with swapping barcodes to steal from Walmart self...
Michigan man charged with swapping barcodes to steal from Walmart self...
Scientists discover a habitable planet where you could live to age of ...
Scientists discover a habitable planet where you could live to age of ...
Advertisement
  • Reliable food sources
  • Shelter
  • Other herds, which can isolate populations and prevent them from following migratory routes

Without a reliable food source or shelter, the endangered species will find its way to farms, settlements, plantations — anything they can find to survive.

Advertisement

Oftentimes, elephants can cause anywhere from a few thousand to millions of dollars (e.g., on small local farms or large agricultural operations) of damage. During these clashes, an average of 100 humans and 40 to 50 elephants are killed every year in crop raids. (4)

Unfortunately, the human-elephant conflict is evident and it doesn’t seem like that will change. But, as Asian Species Expert, Dr. Barney Long, says:

Advertisement

As South Asia’s population explodes, elephants are getting squeezed into smaller areas leading to major conflicts, we need to champion solutions that help both elephants and people.

In an interview with The Sun, (5) Dr. Liz Greengrass, head of conservation at the British charity Born Free, shared a way to make this possible.

Advertisement

The future of the Asian elephant in India depends on their ability to use corridors between forest tracts. However, for this to be possible, we have to make sure that peoples’ safety and livelihoods are secured within these corridors.”

What you can do to help Indian elephants

If you have a deep love for wildlife, check out what you can do to make a tangible difference right here.

Keep Reading: A Photographer Captured The Last Images of Kenya’s ‘Elephant Queen’ Just Before Her Death

Advertisement

This article originally appeared on The Hearty Soul in May 2019 and has been published here with permission.

Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
Advertisement