Forest department official of the Athagarh division prepares bamboo seed balls which will be scattered into different reserve forests to enrich food stock for wild elephants. | Photo Credit: Forest officials hope bamboo seed balls will germinate and ensure food for elephants, preventing conflict with villagers Encouraged by germination and subsequent growth in bamboo plantations, Odisha’s Athagarh Forest Division has begun casting seed balls inside different reserve forest areas to enrich food stock for wild elephants. The growth in bamboo plantation is expected to meet the needs of the elephants, which often stray out of the forests and raid human habitations. Villagers who bear the brunt of the elephant attacks have come forward to prepare the bamboo seed balls and scatter them in 38 reserve forests under the Athagarh Forest Division. A vigorous monsoon with copious rains has helped the villagers and forest department personnel to ensure that the seed balls have germinated and taken root. “Bamboo shoots are relished by elephants. We are highly optimistic that it will meet the food requirement of wild elephants in their own habitats. They will not stray out of the forest in search of food,” said Sasmita Lenka, Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer. […]

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