The state forest department on Thursday launched an operation to drive out an elephant herd from two forest areas in West Midnapore to Dumurkhola region under Salboni division and Chandra to Dalma region in Jharkhand.
The herd has 140 elephants including 30 calves.Rabindranath Saha, deputy forest officer of Mindapore range, said, large scale devastation of crops necessitated the action against the herd. “After entering West Midnapore from Dalma, the herd tried to move to Odisha in the first week of October. But in the wake of a stiff resistance, the herd re-entered Midnapore jungles. They have damaged crops across 300 hectre areas and damaged 15 households.”
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The team of forest officials in West Midnapore is using a vehicle called Oiravat, which opens fire and thick smoke, to scare the herd.