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Saving Odisha Elephants from Traffic Deaths

Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions are mounting in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The problem is, major highways are cutting through core elephant habitats, forcing elephants to cross treacherous roads in search of food. Motorists, in particular truck drivers, drive recklessly. The existing elephant crossing signs are inconspicuous and ineffective. Our groundbreaking reflective billboards, 9' above ground, will alert Odisha drivers, warning them to slow down and save elephants.

In partnership with

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VFAES has partnered with the Wildlife Protection Society of India to install large reflective billboards warning of highway elephant crossings in Odisha state. In addition, we have collaborated with Paribartan, another local NGO, to install laser devices that detect when an elephant is on the road and trigger brightly flashing, revolving red lights, and a loud siren. This project has been embraced by the state forest authorities and received substantial publicity in national and regional newspapers.

Laser Device for Traffic Vigilance and Preventing Elephant Deaths

We’re launching yet another state-of-the-art technology - a high-tech high touch laser device - to save elephants from traffic deaths on Odisha’s notorious roadways. We are launching this exciting project in collaboration with a grassroots partner, Paribartan, based in Odisha’s Angul district. It is called “Traffic Vigilance to Save Elephants”  and it works on laser beams and sirens.


When an elephant emerges from the forest patch and tries to cross the road:


  • A laser beam will detect the animal and activate the alarm installed on the roadside. 

  • This will trigger flashing red lights to revolve and send out a loud siren, commanding the immediate attention of the drivers.

After conducting several surveys, our team has verified frequent elephant movements in the Gadasila Section of the Rasasingh village, confirming that this is one of the key locations for the installation of the safety device. In fact, even as our team on the ground in Odisha was conducting surveys, a large herd of elephants emerged from a forest patch, trying to cross the ever expanding treacherous roads, in order to get to the other patch.


This is also the first time in Odisha’s history, a capacity building and awareness program is being launched for truck drivers to educate them about the importance of complying with speed limits, understanding traffic signage, emergency protocols, contact information and much more, all aimed at saving lives - elephants and people.

We are launching this project in collaboration with the PARIBARTAN team on the ground, the Baulapur and Pasasingh villagers near Dhenkanal district of Odisha, and local Forest Officials. 

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