Indian states use bulk SMS to alert citizens of elephant herds

India’s West Midnapore district panchayat and administrative officials, as well as Forest Protection Committee members receive bulk SMS messages which contain information about the movement of an elephant herd in the area. This data is further distributed across tourists and citizens so they don’t get in the way of the animals.


This isn’t the only case f bulk SMS being used to inform India’s population of elephant herds. It has been earlier implemented in such regions as Valparai and Tamil Nadu, The service was created way back in 2002 by Ganesh Raghunathan and M. Ananda Kumar, a wildlife scientist with the Nature Conservation Foundation. Since that time random encounters have been virtually nonexistent.


According to Valparai’s information, elephants stay in the forest and move out at night. Animals and people usually meet unexpectedly when the elephants move out while people go to their plantations. In an interview with The Wire magazine,  Raghunathan said that the residents have blown the number of elephants they encounter out of proportion.

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