LAKSHMAMMA: “IF WE DON’T DISTURB WILDLIFE, THEY DON’T BOTHER US. THEY LIKE BEING LEFT ALONE”

Wildlife in their backyard is a daily affair for Ramesh and his mother Lakshmamma, who live in a joint family in the village of Nagapatnam, bordering Bandipur. Leopards and tigers have preyed on their livestock countless times during grazing, and elephants and wild pigs often raid their crops – amounting to a recorded loss of up to Rs 45,000. Despite having lived in an area that sees a high level of interaction with wildlife for several years, they spoke to us of the lessons learned observing animals during this time – that if left alone, wildlife does not come near humans, and will leave without causing much harm.

Despite having had a good relationship with the forest department over the years, Ramesh understood that calling the forest officials every day for conflict was not practical, and he would often end up not registering all his crop loss cases. Ever since he got in touch with us, he’s grateful that the quick response and organised functioning of the Wild Seve team has ensured that all his crop loss or livestock cases are properly recorded and compensation received. He has called the helpline 10 times and received compensation worth Rs 12,830.