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'Pesticides pose threat to wildlife at Vazhachal elephant corridor'

Pesticides pose threat to wildlife at Vazhachal elephant corridor

Thiruvananthapuram: Animal rights' activists have voiced concern over alleged widespread use of banned pesticides near forest area at Vazhachal elephant corridor, a rich abode of Asiatic elephants in Thrissur district in Kerala.

The use of pesticides has caused water pollution and environment damage, leading to serious threats to all flora and fauna, especially jumbo population in the corridor, financed by UNESCO for natural forest development, they said.

Noted animal rights' group Heritage Animal Task Force alleged that as many as 17 wild elephants were found dead in mysterious circumstances in the region since January this year and many of them were victims of banned pesticides.

The latest in the list was a wild elephant which was found dead inside Vazhachal Forest Area on Tuesday.

With this, the total wild jumbo deaths in Kerala has gone up to 113 since January this year.

In a recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the Chairman of National Board for Wildlife, the group alleged that illegal planters were largely using banned pesticides around the corridor.

"Many of the areas near this elephant corridor is infamous for unauthorised occupation by illegal planters who use banned pestisides for the development of crops inside their plantation areas," the letter said.

The outfit also demanded a high-level enquiry into all unnatural deaths of wild elephants in forest areas of the state.

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