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Dalma sanctuary elephants begin annual migration to Bengal

The jumbos are expected to be back home in February-March next year

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, August 10: Elephants at Dalma wildlife sanctuary have embarked on their annual sojourn to the jungles of neighbouring Bengal.

The pachyderms have started bidding temporary goodbye to the sprawling reserve, 30 km from Jamshedpur, in batches. Some of them have already caught the migratory corridor to the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in Bengal.

Over a dozen jumbos have left the sanctuary and more would follow suit in due course of time, a forester said.

“Over a dozen elephants have left the sanctuary for Bengal. A few are stationed uphill whereas a sizable number are scattered downhill. A few are also anchored in the periphery and would head to Bengal any time,” he informed.

Dalma elephants usually migrate to the neighbouring state in August-September.

The jumbos migrate to Bengal via two designated corridors – one from Jhunjka, leading to Nutandih, and the other from Burudih, passing through Narsingpur, Dalapani, Suklara and Aamdapahari.

According to the forester. food would not be an issue as ample vegetation grows along the migratory corridor. “The trackers spotted around a dozen elephants, including calves on the migration route to Bengal,” he revealed on condition of anonymity.

Villagers living along the corridors have been asked to be vigilant and not tease the elephants.

Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra confirmed the departure of elephants to Bengal. “The jumbos have begun their migration to Bengal. Most of the elephants are expected to leave the sanctuary this month,” he added. 

Another forester said about 25 elephants remain anchored at the sanctuary throughout the year as they don’t migrate. The elephants would be back to their Dalma home by February-March next year,” he added.

Jumbos, who thrive in peaceful environments, had migrated early to Bengal in 2018 as well, owing to an encounter between Maoists and paramilitary forces that affected their normal schedule. Herds had also migrated to Bengal early (July) in 2020.

Dalma elephants may extend their stay in the neighbouring state if water and food is found in abundance. They also stay anchored to a place on the return journey for the same reason. But usually, the pachyderms return to their abode in February-March. Depending upon their mood, jumbos may also amble back home in January.

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