Of the 84 human kills by tigers and leopards, 45 were in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli (23), Nagpur (8), Nashik (7), and Thane (1) districts
Nagpur: An RTI reply has revealed that Maharashtra witnessed 94 human kills in 11 months of 2022, taking the man-animal conflict to a six-year high. Of the 94 deaths, 90 are from Vidarbha region alone.
This information was provided to a query posed by activist Abhay Kolarkar under Right to Information Act. According to the reply, every month at least 10 persons are losing their lives in man-animal conflict in the State.
The RTI reply further pointed out that in 2016-2017, 53 humans were killed in wild animal attacks, and this year’s figures are a 77% jump. Barring 2018-19, when 36 people died, there has been a consistent rise in conflict deaths. The State Government released over Rs 423 crore towards compensation to the next of kin of the victim, and for those injured in the last six years.
Of the 94 deaths, 70 are victims of tigers and 14 of leopards. The information further reveals that of the 84 human kills by tigers and leopards, 45 were in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli (23), Nagpur (8), Nashik (7), and Thane (1) districts. Elephants, which are present in Nagpur and Gadchiroli circles, also claimed two persons.Not only fatal incidents, but the number of cattle kills and crop depredation cases have also gone up. In 2016-17, 5,961 cattle kills were reported whereas in 2021-2022 this has increased to nearly 7,000.
The tiger numbers outside the protected areas have increased causing frequent conflicts. Besides, unless local people stop venturing deep into the forest conflict is bound to happen. As per the All India Tiger and Leopard Estimation-2018, the tiger numbers increased from 190 in 2014 to 312 in 2018 to 350 in 2021, and nearly 400 in 2022. Similarly, the leopard numbers in the state have also increased to 1,700, which is the third highest in the country.