As many as 3,310 people have died due to attacks by wild elephants in the last seven years. The data was revealed by the ministry of forest, environment and climate change in response to an RTI application.

Kerala-based RTI campaigner K Govindan Nampoothiry, in his RTI query, has sought details about the death toll due to the wild pachyderm attacks in the last seven years.

The reply revealed that Odisha has the maximum number of deaths, followed by West Bengal, Assam, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.

While Odisha registered the maximum deaths, 589, during 2014-15 to 2020-21 (as per the data up to December 31, 2020). In West Bengal, 562 people have died in wild elephant attacks. It is followed by Assam (479), Chhattisgarh (413) and Jharkhand (480).

"The highest number of deaths was reported in 2019-20; 585 people were killed by wild elephants, reveals the RTI document. While in 2016-17, 516 and in 2017-18, 506 people lost their lives," Nampoothiry told India Today.

"The rise in the number of human deaths due to wild elephant attacks is alarming. It questions the efficiency of various so-called projects announced by the Forest Ministry to counter man-animal conflicts. A proper mechanism should be developed to minimalize human loss due to wildlife conflicts. It is the need of the hour. In addition to this, the Ministry should hold emergency talks with the states which register maximum deaths," Govindan Nampoothiry said.

According to official data, there are about 27,312 elephants in the wild. India has the world's largest population of Asiatic elephants spread across states in many jungles and elephant reserves.

With elephants living in close proximity to the population, the animal-human conflict is leading to a rising loss of human lives.