The Wildlife Unit of the Forestry Commission has cautioned communities within the Eastern Corridor to be careful and guard against Elephant invasion as they will soon move out for food and water because of the dry season.
The animals are sometimes seen during the dry season in the Nabdam, Talensi and Bawku West districts of the Upper East Region,which are part of the Eastern Wildlife Corridor, where they destroy farms and trees.
"Dry season is approaching and we are going to get the elephants more permanent here because as you move further up the Red Volta Valley, the weather becomes drier."
Mr Alfred Kofi Bara, the Wildlife Officer in charge of the Eastern Corridor Wildlife of the Forestry Commission said this when the Ghana News Agency at Sakoti in the Nabdam District, Upper East Region, interviewed him to verify whether the animals had started invading farms as they had done in the past.
Mr Bara who took the GNA round the forest reserve in the area, and visited farms to ascertain and verify if there were any traces of elephants and destruction of farm produce, debunked those rumours and said even though there could be the possibility of the presence of elephants in the area, he had not observed any traces or received reports of the animals destroying farms.
He said the elephants used to migrate from the Western Wildlife Corridor which covers Builsa and the Kassena-Nankana areas, "but for some time now, they seem to be more resident in the Eastern Wildlife Corridor."
The Eastern Wildlife Corridor covers about eight political districts stretching from the Bongo District through Nabdam, Talensi, Bawku West, Binduri, Garu, Tempane and the East Mamprusi Districts.
"As you move down the Red Volta towards the White Volta, we have more permanent pools of water during the dry season that attract them here. We also have much more luxuriant vegetation, so apparently they turn to stay here more."
He said "The elephant is a very intelligent animal, and has good sense of smell, sense of hearing, but poor eye sight so any colour that improves its vision is a threat to you the person with the colour."
Mr Bara appealed to members of the public not to get close to an elephant, "they should avoid watching them when dressed in bright colours like yellow, red and white or any colour that is bright enough to improve their vision" He entreated community members who stay close to forest reserves to volunteer information regarding their presence and activities to Wildlife officials on time, "we are appealing to all stakeholders to support Wildlife control, especially any invasion of elephants because Wildlife alone cannot do that."
Mr Bara said his outfit was trying its best to sensitise communities on how to behave when the animals were seen and disclosed that a Non-Governmental Organisation would soon undertake a programme to train community representatives who would provide information about their presence, location and activities and threat to humans.
He said the training would cover the biology of the elephant, its likes and dislikes, and precautionary measures community members should take when they see the elephants.