Govt kept National Tiger Conservation Authority in dark over tuskers’ deaths: RTI (Bhubaneswar, India)


Times of India

Date Published


The state government has kept the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in the dark about the death of elephants due to anthrax at Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj district, an RTI query has revealed. Seven elephants have died in the past 20 months from anthrax.

According to the wildlife rule, the NTCA has to be kept in the loop in the event of the death of elephants in a tiger reserve, tiger sanctuary or national park. That’s because other animals in that area could get affected from the virus.

But replying to an RTI query on whether the NTCA is aware of the fact that the anthrx virus has been responsible for killing the elephants, the authority’s chief public information officer Vaibhav Mathur said: “This information is not available in this authority. You may contact chief wildlife warden.”

The information was sought by wildlife campaigner Biswajit Mohanty on August 12, 2016 and the response arrived on August 24. Mohanty also filed an RTI application in the office of the chief wildlife warden to get the figure of elephant deaths due to anthrax. But the office has denied possessing any such information.

“On August 2, I obtained details of elephant deaths due to anthrax from the office of STR field director, according to which seven elephants died due to anthrax in last 20 months. But, the NTCA has not been communicated about it,” Mohanty said.