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BARIPADA: The herd of marauding elephants, which wreaked havoc in Raruan block of Mayurbhanj on Saturday night, entered Tuntuan forest under Champua range of Keonjhar district, five kms from Ghagorbedha section under Karanjia territorial division.
The elephants moved to Tuntuna on Sunday night after crossing Raruan and Ghagorbedha sections as the forest staff drove the herd away by using traditional methods like beating of drums and empty tins as well as bursting of fire crackers.
While the forest officials in Karanjia territorial division are monitoring the movement of the herd, residents of villages in Raruan and Ghagorbedha sections continue to live in fear as the elephant herd is not far away from the district, said Forester Kishore Kumar Panigrahi. The herd has already damaged four houses in Phulcomp village under Nuagoan panchayat and three in Galusahi village under Raruan and Ghagorbedha sections.
Karanjia Divisional Forest Officer Prasanna Behera said the herd, which includes three tuskers and four calves from neighbouring Jharkhand, sneaked into Raruan and has been creating havoc for the last 15 days.
He said 50 to 60 staff are keeping a close watch on the movement of the herd which has destroyed banana orchards and standing maize crop on a few patches of land. The herd has also damaged vegetable orchards and paddy saplings in around 0.5 hectares of land.
To prevent further damage, Behera has asked forest staff to spread awareness among the people on ways to drive away the elephants using traditional methods. Villagers are also being warned against storing ‘Mahua’ seeds or flowers in their houses, he added.