Carcass of a tusker was found by forest officials inside the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) on Saturday. The carcass, with the tusks removed, was spotted inside Teltangia forest under Baijatala range, 23 km away from Rairangpur forest division.
A herd of 10 elephants has been seen moving around the forest for over a month now and it had strayed into human habitations nearby and damaged crops and houses. Locals said the elephant could have been a part of the herd. Rairangpur DFO AK Swain, forest staff and a veterinary team rushed to the spot. They buried the carcass after autopsy.
Wildlife activist Akshay Biswal said some unknown persons were seen moving in the area after the elephant herd strayed into villages.
Deputy Director of STR Ajit Kumar Satpathy said the exact cause of death of the tusker can be ascertained after the postmortem report is received.