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Nothing that India is home to roughly 60% of all Asian elephants, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to protecting the jumbos on World Elephant Day on August 12.

On the occasion, the government announced the establishment of a new elephant reserve, Agasthiyamalai in Tamil Nadu, as well as a series of actions to address human-elephant conflict situations, which kill approximately 500 people and 100 jumbos each year across the country.

India’s 32nd elephant reserve

Agasthiyamalai will be the country’s 32nd elephant reserve, adding another 1,197 square kilometres of protected area dedicated to elephant conservation. This brings the total area of elephant reserves in India to approximately 76,508 square kilometres spread across 14 states.

“The successes in elephant conservation must be viewed in context of the larger efforts underway in India to minimise human-animal conflict, and integrating local communities and their traditional wisdom in furthering environmental consciousness,” tweeted PM Modi while lauding efforts of elephant conservationists.

The environment ministry decided to hold an inter-ministerial meeting with Railways to bring the issue of preventing elephant deaths due to train collisions to a logical conclusion.

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