As rapid urbanization continues to swallow the vast forests in India, wild animals are further robbed of their habitat and subsequently pushed to unfamiliar, unsafe environments.
These endangered animals sometimes end up in areas with human population, and when they do, things don’t usually fare well for both the animals and the humans.
Indian authorities recently released a shocking statistic that revealed that endangered elephants and tigers have been killing at least one person per day since 2014. According to India’s environment ministry, in 1,143 days between April 2014 and May 2017, 1,144 people have been killed in animal attacks across the country.
With the current trend of deforestation and poaching, the ministry does not see an end to this problem anytime soon.
In fact, in the same period, around 345 tigers and 84 elephants were killed, with poaching being the main culprit for their deaths.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“Rampant killing of wildlife is ongoing in India. Hundreds of leopards, tigers, and elephants are killed for their body parts,”
a Wildlife Protection Society of India representative told AFP
As for the human casualties, continuous intrusion into the animal’s habitat is also to blame, according to the Director General of Forests Siddhanta Das.
“We are running awareness campaigns to minimize the casualties,” Das was quoted as saying.
Based on 2014 data, the country is home to almost 30,000 elephants and half the world’s tiger population with around 2,226 of them living in its reserves.
The recently released report reveals that elephants have caused the deaths of 1,052 humans while tigers have killed 92. A quarter of the deaths in the period occurred in West Bengal state where nearly 800 elephants and some Bengal tigers live.
Just last year a herd of wild elephants killed five people in a rampage that went on for hours causing massive damages to vehicles and homes before they were put down with tranquilizers.
In other parts of India, the animals have also been involved in human deaths. In June, four people died after an elephant charged towards people in a village in southern Tamil Nadu state.
The majority of the attacks on humans by elephants reportedly happen in areas dubbed as elephant corridors, which have been their habitat for centuries but have now been taken over by humans.
Overall, 950 people were killed in animal attacks in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.