Elephants Claim 2 More Lives (India)


By Express News Service 

Date Published
ROURKELA: In the last 48 hours, two persons have died in elephant attack in Sundargarh district. In the wee hours of Thursday, 65-year-old Chudamani Nayak was killed by a tusker at Mohuljor village under Sadar police limits. The animal had damaged a portion of Nayak’s house at around 3 am and when he came out to see, he was killed by the tusker.
Similarly, Samari Munda (46) and her husband were guarding their crops on the outskirts of Gagnaposh village under Kuliposh range of Bonai forest division on Tuesday night when an elephant attacked them. While the animal killed Samari on the spot, her husband managed to escape.
In the last eight months, human casualty in elephant attack has gone up to 10 with the two recent incidents under three forest divisions of Sundargarh district. The district had reported 16 human deaths in 2014-15 financial year.
Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) Lingaraj Otta said the district is suffering mostly due to intrusion of elephants from adjacent forests of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. He said in 2014-15 financial year, the district had reported 16 human casualties and compensation to the tune of `1.55 crore was paid for loss of crops, properties and human lives. Otta informed that in the last eight months, Rourkela and Sundargarh forest divisions saw three human deaths each and four human casualties in Bonai forest division.
“Movement of the pachyderms remains unpredictable in the district. As they have developed a taste for country liquor and grains, they are increasingly entering human habitations,” Otta said, adding that the Forest Department is focused on keeping the animals at a safe distance.
Recently, an inter-State meeting was held in Mayurbhanj district in which, forest officials of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal discussed measures for elephant management.