This Article is From Sep 02, 2010

Elephant found dead at Assam tea estate

Nagaon, Assam: A male elephant has been found dead at the courtyard of a house inside Kalidan tea estate near Nagaon in Assam. It's unusual for an elephant to die in such circumstances unless electrocuted. Workers at the tea estate insist the elephant died of natural causes.

255 elephants have died in Assam as a result of conflicts with humans between 1990 and 2003. Most of them were poisoned or electrocuted.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced earlier this week that the government will declare the elephant a National Heritage Animal as part of a new initiative.

The Elephant Task Force - made up of 12 members - has also recommended setting up a National Elephant Conservation Authority, similar to the existing National Tiger Conservation Authority. The task force has presented the government with a comprehensive plan for how to protect elephants in the wild and in captivity, and alleviate the human-elephant conflict.