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Tuskers return home to Dalma sanctuary after West Bengal sojourn

Jamshedpur, March 12: The picturesque natural beauty of Dalma is abuzz with activities as over a dozen tuskers returned to the sanctuary following their brief stay in neighboring West Bengal jungles.
Officials of Dalma elephant sanctuary confirmed that over a dozen have already returned, while others are on their way. Others are expected to leave Midnapore and Bankura jungles shortly.

Abundance of water and fodder had held up jumbos in forest of neighboring West Bengal. Jumbos generally return home to the reserve by the end of February or latest by the first week of March. But this year they overstayed in West Bengal.

The perennial water sources are basically ponds running 15 to 20 feet deep, while the new artificial water sources are similar to the lake with adequate slope area across the lake for easy access of the wildlife to the water source. The depth of the artificial water sources is also around 15 feet.

“The return of elephants in large numbers to the Dalma sanctuary suggests that the availability of water in plenty will ensure their stay in the sanctuary for long,” said an official of wild life division, Ranchi.

Notably, Dalma is the best elephant habitat of Jharkhand, where the pachyderms love to spend their summer. Dalma used to be pleasing with temperatures less than 30°C. But due to rising mercury over the years the elephants started migration to green pastures.

The availability of water during summer is all the more alluring for the elephants to migrate. Currently, there are over 80 elephants in the Dalma sanctuary. The elephants often have the tendency to go into agricultural fields adjoining the sanctuary in search of food. The forest department has made arrangements to keep them anchored in Dalma by providing water and greenery.

The measures taken by the forest department include availability of adequate water holes, salt licks and sufficient food for the tuskers. But these are not enough for all the elephants residing in the area.

He said perennial water sources in the Dalma forest range have been for long catering to the water need of the tuskers but owing to the rising temperature several of the water sources got dried up which led the department to initiate the work on large scale.

“We are also working on increasing the greenery in Dalma our aforestation exercise is still in the process to gain the desired momentum. We are hopeful to complete the major portion of the work by May,” noted the senior forest official.

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