This project aims to create safe shared spaces for people and elephants, using science based solutions. In West Bengal state, India, human and elephant deaths are alarmingly high at approx. 40 people and six elephants per year. Research suggests, accidental encounters occur at night as people run into elephants, resulting in human casualties and animosity towards elephants. Tragedies can be averted using basic safety practices, Eg: flashlights in the dark to alert elephants of human presence. Click Here to learn more: https://bit.ly/2CtPY7f
The first phase of flashlight distribution has begun in the northern region of West Bengal, with almost 350 tea plantation workers having received their first line of defence, even under COVID restrictions. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our generous donors. Thank you for making this possible!
Since the launch of this initiative there has been no human or elephant deaths in the 3,000 KM area that we have covered so far. Despite the 4th wave of COVID lockdowns, as of April 2022, we have distributed more than 2,000 flashlights, and our tea plantation community leaders continue to empower their peers and coworkers. Our project has impacted 50 villages, and 7000 people in a landscape where humans encounter elephants frequently. By simply flashing the lights we have been able to distribute with the support of our donors, elephants can move freely and safely through the tea plantations without any tragedies.
The workers are also feeling safe and secure while returning home in the dark. And here’s why this simple solution is effective:
The flashlights help humans see the elephants
The flashlights alert the elephants to human presence
Brings people together, forest officials, villagers and others
And here’s an interesting fact to help understand the power of flashlights in saving lives. Elephants can see the flashlights very well at night because the beams are primarily yellow and blue, which the elephants can detect.
Given the huge success of our flashlights campaign in West Bengal, another team in Maharashtra state wanted us to help them too. In collaboration with our awesome grassroots partner - Nature Mates and SAGE Foundation we have distributed around 75 flashlights in Maharashtra state. They will alert elephants and people, averting senseless tragedies.