Dia Mirza plea for CM Naveen Patnaik to save jumbos (India)


Riyan Ramanath V, Times of India

Date Published

BHUBANESWAR: Bollywood actress and model Dia Mirzahas appealed to chief minister Naveen Patnaik in her twitter handle to save the elephants of the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, which have moved to the Athgarh region.

Dear @Naveen_Odisha, the Giantrefugees of Athgarh need your intervention, the tweet said. The former Miss Asia Pacific is part of a campaign called GiantRefugees launched by Mumbai-based Sanctuary Nature Foundation. The Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO) is partnering the campaign.

A herd of 22 elephants has been roaming in the Athgarh forest division creating panic among locals. Man-animal conflict has seen two elephants being electrocuted and four villagers being killed in this region. The reason why elephants have shifted base is because of shortage of food.

WSO secretary Biswajit Mohanty said, through the GiantRefugee campaign, state machineries will be sensitized so that they take serious note of the matter and put tangible efforts to bring back the elephants. “The natural habitat of these elephants has been destroyed. The herd is being tormented by the people. It is high time we saved these animals,” said Mohanty.

The GiantRefugee campaign includes writing 1,000 e-mails to the chief minister by March and regular tweets. Apart from active campaigning by the members, including Dia, the general public will campaign through social media platforms and appeal to the chief minister.

Mohanty said the e-mails will include suggestions for the revival of the corridors between Chandaka and Athgarh so that the elephants return to their base. It may be noted here, the wildlife wing has not yet been able to take off the tyre from the leg of one of the adult wild elephants in Chandaka for over two months now. The tyre had got accidentally stuck on the leg of the pachyderm. After an attempt to tranquilize it failed, the elephant got aggressive and ever since has been moving around in the sanctuary frequently changing its base. It has also sustained injuries on the leg.