NGO launches drive to save elephants (Bhubaneswar, India)


The Hindu

Date Published

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In a bid to save a herd of wild elephants from the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, which has been living in the nearby Athagarh area of Cuttack district, the Sanctuary Nature Foundation has launched a campaign seeking to draw the attention of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Strayed into village

The elephants from the sanctuary had strayed into Athagarh area after crossing the Mahanadi river about five years ago.

At present, a herd of at least 22 elephants is living in the Athagarh area in constant conflict with local villagers and farmers.

At least five persons have been killed in the past few years.

Locals have been putting up road blocks from time to time to draw the attention of the authorities to deal with the menace.

The campaign, through which the Odisha government’s attention is being drawn, seeks a long-term solution to the problem.

The Sanctuary Nature Foundation has urged the people to tweet to Odisha CM asking him to take action to protect this wild elephant herd by using hashtag #GiantRefugees.

The Foundation has also urged people to send at least 1,000 emails to Mr. Patnaik by March 15 seeking direct police intervention to control mobs so that the elephants are allowed undisturbed passage.

The Foundation has demanded that a task force be set up to effect the restoration of the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary.