Saving Odisha Elephants from Traffic Deaths

Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha
Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha

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Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha
Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha

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Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha
Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha

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Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha
Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions in Odisha

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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.

The reflective road signages to alert the drivers in elephant crossing zones are now ready for installation, expected to begin by mid-April in the eastern Indian state of Odisha! The signages designed in local Odiya language will be placed 9' above ground, tall enough to alert Odisha’s truck drivers to slow down. We are installing 8 such billboards on both sides of the main and rural roads in the Dhenkanal district, as studies indicate that they are prime accident spots.

Elephant deaths due to traffic collisions have been on the rise in Odisha. The problem is, major roads are cutting through core elephant habitats, forcing elephants to make treacherous crossings in search of food. Our signage is in compliance with the Public Works Dept. guidelines, created in partnership with Wildlife Protection Society of India.

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Laser Device for Traffic Vigilance and Preventing Elephant Deaths

Installing banners at curbside restaurants (Dhabas) near the device installation sites to alert truc
Installing banners at curbside restaurants (Dhabas) near the device installation sites to alert truc

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PARBARTAN team, forest officials and villagers collaborating to save elephants
PARBARTAN team, forest officials and villagers collaborating to save elephants

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Project team explaining to the drivers how the device works, and the “Dos and Don'ts” while driving
Project team explaining to the drivers how the device works, and the “Dos and Don'ts” while driving

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Installing banners at curbside restaurants (Dhabas) near the device installation sites to alert truc
Installing banners at curbside restaurants (Dhabas) near the device installation sites to alert truc

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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. 

Elephants trying to navigate the treacherous and ever-expanding roads