Jumbo Menace on the Rise in Sundargarh (India)


The New Indian Express

Date Published

There seems to be no solution in sight for the man-animal conflict in Sundargarh district.

In less than 11 months, 21 persons have died due to elephant attacks in the district, the latest being on Monday under Rourkela Forest division. Eleven of these deaths have occurred in the last 10 weeks. On Monday night, Hari Kerketta (50) was riding pillion in the motorcycle that was being driven by his son on the Pasra-Riu road under Kuanrmunda range of Rourkela forest division. Around 10.30 pm, they spotted 12 elephants. When Hari’s son tried to reverse the  two-wheeler, Hari fell on the ground and one of the elephants killed him on the spot. His son and two other motorcycle-borne persons escaped narrowly.


Just a week back, a mud house was attacked at Khairbandh village of Kuanrmunda range and an elderly woman was brutally killed by an elephant. In a span of 10 weeks from September 4 to November 17, the Rourkela, Sundargarh and Bonai divisions reported five, four and two human casualties respectively. So far this year, the Rourkela division has witnessed the highest of eight human deaths, while Sundargarh and Bonai are trailing closely with loss of seven and six lives respectively


The ACF said till two days ago forests of the Kuanrmunda range had 54 elephants in four herds and Bisra and Panposh ranges were having 18 and eight pachyderms respectively

Sources said in view of the ongoing harvesting season, the incidents of elephant depredations have increased as standing crops and mud-houses at elephant-prone areas of the district are under attack


In 2014-15,Sundargarh district had reported 16 human casualties due to elephant attacks and compensation to the tune of Rs 1.55 crore sanctioned towards loss of crops, properties and human lives.