Four Elephants Killed in 4 Years (India)


By Express News Service

Date Published
Frequent elephant deaths due to poaching has become a cause of concern for Forest officials and wildlife lovers in the district.

In the last four years, as many elephants have been killed by poachers in forest of Dhenkanal-Cuttack and Dhenkanal-Keonjhar border areas. Three of these elephants were killed on Dhenkanal-Badamba-Narasinghpur border and this week, another jumbo died due to lack of timely treatment at Rodanga village near Dhenkanal-Keonjhar border.

According to official reports, a 40-year-old elephant, attacked by poachers in Keonjhar, sustained bullet injuries. The pachyderm bearing 24 injury marks died as Forest officials could not extend timely medical aid. Three days prior to his death on Monday, the elephant had entered Dhenkanal forest range near Rodanga village.

Forest officials headed by DFO PK Sahoo said if their counterparts in Keonjhar had taken appropriate action, the elephant could have survived.

Sources said there are not enough veterinarians to take care of injured elephants even as the district administration has opened an elephant rescue centre at Kapilas here.

Meanwhile, Forest department has arrested three persons recently in connection with elephant poaching case at Hindol on April 19.

On Monday, Narada Pradhan of Rajnag village in Hindol was arrested for his alleged involvement in killing of a tusker. The 25-year-old tusker was killed by four poachers on April 19. They had links with a tusk trader in Kandhar reserve forest under Hindol division. Police said the trader belongs to Narasinghpur and had offered `40,000 to Pradhan to kill an elephant and provide the tusk to him. Subsequently, a tusker was killed and as the news spread, Forest department formed a 15-member team to nab the poachers. On a tip off, they managed to nab Pradhan while three others and the trader remained elusive.

On Thursday, the three remaining poachers were arrested. “There are two masterminds of this poaching racket who would be arrested soon,” the DFO said.

Besides, forest guard Prasant Naik has been placed under suspension for not informing his higher authorities about the incident. Similar action has been taken against forester Uddhav Behera and range officer Gatikrushna Mohanty for dereliction of duty in the Kandhar poaching case.