Jumbo rally starts at Kaziranga Elephant Festival

Kaziranga, Feb 13 : Elephants of varying ages and sizes converge at Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam on Thursday to take part in the four-day annual Elephant Festival that is organised with an aim to end the man-animal conflict.

Organised by the Assam Tourism department (ATD), the festival commenced on Monday provided an opportunity for locals as well as domestic and foreign tourists to experience the ecological diversity of the region.

Over 60 elephants and more than 20 cultural troupes from various communities of Assam assembled to spread the message of peaceful co-existence between man and animal.

Hundreds of visitors witnessed an elephant expert spelling out different commands, which the elephants obeyed in utmost silence sans any resentment.

A tourist Rajesh Verma was ecstatic about the festival and said, We wish that such festivals are organised outside the North East as well so that people of the nation get observe the natural beauty and its resources and more and more people can come here.

The jungles of the North East are home to about thousands of elephants, almost half the countrys total elephant population.

However, in recent years the normally gentle animals have been frequently coming into conflict with humans and often resulting in fatality and destruction of property.

Kaziranga, with its tall thickets of elephant grass, is ideal habitat for the pachyderms and the famed one-horned rhino, tigers, wild buffaloes, sloth bears, tigers and deer.

As they fall victim to increased poaching for ivory and their habitats disappear, many stray out of the forest to block roads and rail tracks or look for food in human habitation.