Killer tusker back in Angul, creates panic (India)


New Indian Express

Date Published


The killer tusker, which gave the forest officials a slip on September 23, has again entered human habitation in Angul district damaging houses and crops.The 30-year-old tusker resurfaced in Chhendipada range on October 3 and stayed in the forest for a day and entered areas under Kaniha range spreading panic among the locals.

At Kaniha, the tusker damaged crops and houses in several villages. It destroyed a house in Santiribida village and its adjoining areas before sneaking into Rabipur forest under Talcher range on Friday morning, said range officer Durga Charan Sahu of Chhendipada.

The tusker is camping in Rabipur forest. It tried to get back into Chhendipada in the night but due to heavy flow of rain water in Singda rivulet it could not cross over to the forest, said Talcher Range Officer B Pattnaik.
The tusker has so far killed 11 persons in six months in Angul, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts. On September 23, the Government had pressed an expert team to tranquilise the tusker but it managed to give them a slip and ran away to Rairakhole jungle under Sambalpur district. The move was abandoned then.

As there is no alternative for the Forest Department to tame the animal, palpable panic prevails in Chhendipada, Kaniha and Talcher forest range.The range officer is camping in the area along with the staff to monitor the tusker’s movement.

“We have taken multiple steps to prevent loss of human life and property by alerting the people about its possible movement. At night, electricity in the area will be disconnected to prevent the tusker from coming in contact with live wires, said Pattnaik.

Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among the people for failure of the department to nab the tusker. “For last several months, we are living in a state of panic, but no step was taken by divisional authorities to tackle it,” comments a local.The tusker is believed to have parted from his herd a few months back, according to forests department sources.