While Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal reported the highest number of deaths, 253, and crop and livelihood losses due to elephants in 2016-17, a new plan is being evolved to tackle the issue.

The strategic plan proposed ideas such as creating “elephant removal zones”, to capturing “problem” elephants that destroy crops, in the zone comprising these states where there are over 3,000 elephants.

Three kinds of areas — forest areas exclusively for elephants; areas where humans can co exist with elephants, and agriculture areas where elephants should be kept away — are being proposed under the plan, reported the Indian Express.

While the region has  percent of elephant population of India, it accounted for over half of the elephant related deaths.

“The reason is destruction of habitat so the elephants are constantly on the move,” said R K Srivastava, director, Project Elephant.

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