Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand), June 12 : Continuous deaths of elephants in last few months at famous Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand have become a cause of great concern for the wild life activists.
Reportedly eleven elephants have died in last five months at the world famous Park.
Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, the Corbett Park is famous for its wide population of tigers, leopards and elephants.
The place is known as the best place in northern India to observe magnificent Asian elephants at a fairly close range.
While the wild life activists are alarmed over the jumbo deaths, authorities at the Park, however, said that the elephant have died their natural death.
"There is nothing baffling about the tusker deaths. They have died their natural death after living their span of life completely. There are large number of tigers and elephants in Corbett National Park so their natural death is evident," said Mohan Singh, Sub Divisional Officer, Corbett National Park.
But wild life lovers are not convinced. The sudden deaths of tuskers have certainty forced the wild life activists to raise their eyebrows.
Poonam Chand, a wild life social worker while talking to media persons said that something is definitely skeptical about the deaths of tuskers and he believes that careless attitude of the authorities at the Corbett Park might be one of the reasons.
"Last year as per census it was found out that number of elephants in Corbett National Park has increased. After those reports, media persons and wild life activists made sure with the increased number of elephants, security for them should also be increased. But as per the reports in last three-four months, we came to know that several elephants have died in there in last few months," said Poonam Chand.
"It is really sad that the administration keeps saying that they have died their natural deaths. It's really sorrowful that forest authorities even come to know about the deaths after two or three months. And if the elephants are dying their natural death why aren't the authorities doing anything about it. It is a very grievous matter," added Poonam.
Famous as a tiger reserve with a count of 92 tigers, the park is also home to leopards, jungle cat, fishing cat, Himalayan Palm civet, tuskers, crocodiles and gavials.
India has more than 50 per cent of Asiatic elephants but its population has been dwindling due to frequent poaching.
It is estimated that 35,000 to 50,000 elephants are left in the wild, down from more than 100,000 a century ago as compared to 600,000 of their larger-eared African cousins. A subspecies in Borneo numbers little more than 1,000 animals.
Experts say only 20 per cent of India's landmass is forested and just 120,000 square kilometres (46,340 sq miles) - less than four per cent of these forests are suitable elephant habitats.
The Asian elephant is an endangered species. It is relentlessly poached for ivory and elephants have almost vanished from China and Southwest Asia. India is among the few Asian countries that boast of a large elephant population.