Elephants Stray into Human Habitations for Water (India)


By Express News Service

Date Published
ROURKELA: There seems to be no end to the elephant menace in this part of the State. With forest cover decreasing and heat drying up water bodies, the elephants are back in the human habitations in Sundargarh district in search of water and food, damaging property in the process.
A herd of elephants spotted at the southern tip of Rourkela city was moving in areas close to human habitations in past couple of days creating panic among the locals. It is learnt that the animals prefer to stay close to a water body in Sonaparvat Reserve Forest (RF) during day and frequent human habitations of Fertiliser Township and Jalda during night.
On Sunday night, the elephants were spotted in Jalda C block where they partially damaged two houses in search of food. The herd then reached Kating and damaged one house and a boundary wall of a school. On Monday night the herd was driven away towards Sonaparvat RF under Panposh range of Rourkela forest division.
Chief Security Advisor of IDL Explosive Ltd Suman Kumar Dutta said on April 15 night the elephants had raided their administrative office at the IDL Colony, adjacent to Fertiliser Township and damaged several computers and furniture. In recent past too, the elephants had moved close to slums like Nabakrishna Nagar and Sonaparvat of the township creating panic among the residents.
Rourkela DFO Sanjeet Kumar said the herd is now left with eight elephants after two got separated recently. He said, 10 days ago the herd had moved towards Pitamahal dam and caused minor damage to the guest house of Irrigation Department. After spending a few days in the forest of Rajgangpur range, the herd crossed Brahmani river and returned to Sonaparvat. The animals are attracted to the areas due to the presence of water body at Sonaparvat RF and efforts are on to drive them away.
Panposh Range Officer PK Dhal said another drive would be undertaken on Tuesday evening to drive the animals towards the adjacent Chirubera forest.