Day For Elephants

Today several elephants came out with decorated robes and mingled with visitors at the Nandankanan Zoological Park at the outskirts of the State Capital today.

The Zoological Park authorities observed World Elephant Day to spread awareness among people for the huge mammal.
Visitors received the scope to get close to the jumbos. The elephants were meted special treatment with offerings of banana, coconut, watermelon and sugarcane sticks to the elephants.
World Elephant Day is being celebrated to conserve and protect elephants from numerous threats they face nowadays.
The observance of the day was symbolic, but it imbibes the spirit of better care and management of captive and wild elephants. The elephants that have made Odisha’s forest their home are listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, said Director of Nandankanan Zoological Park.
He said human-elephant conflict is an area of concern because of loss of habitation corridors of elephants following human interference. This leads the mammals to stray into human settlements in search of food and fodder, thus sparking man-elephant confrontation.
The crying need of the hour is to protect the elephants, their natural habitats and the migration corridors. The observance of elephant day is to inculcate awareness among the people and providing the pachyderms improved veterinary care.
Activists of NWCSO (Nature & Wildlife Conservation Society of Odisha) participated in an awareness program to protect elephants and their habitats. The celebration was observed with a mass awareness programme amongst the visitors, students from different schools, guides and staff of Nandankanan with a message for elephant conservation.
The mahouts were also felicitated in the auspicious occasion for their hard work. A cycle rally was organized by the Chandaka Wildlife Division from Nandankanan to Godibari of Chandaka Division to mark the occasion.
Odisha is home to 1,976 elephants as per the latest Census Report.
Despite human interference, reports of illegal mining activities, cases of poaching and electrocution of these species, the elephants are still firmly ensconced in Odisha’s forest. The rising graph of elephants over the year indicates towards this trend, said a senior official.

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