KEONJHAR: A marauding tusker has killed seven persons in Keonhar district in the last nine months. His latest victim is a 40-year-old man from Jadipada village. He died at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, on Monday. The deceased, Makuru Munda, was attacked by the animal on Saturday night.
The animal killed Sunder Naik of Patala on January 1, 2015 and Abanti Mohanta of Sitarampur and Laxmidhar Giri of Chakulia on February 7. It killed Goura Chandra Pradhan of Parsala and Sarandia Majhi of Hundula on September 4, and Chaitanya Behera of Anseikala village on September 7.
“The animal has taken shelter in Ramchandrapur village. We are tracking its movement and that of other elephants. We are also creating awareness among villagers. We are trying to drive away the elephant into the forest,” said range officer (Champua) R A Mishra.
Sources said more than 40 elephants are taking shelter in the Champua and Barbil forest ranges. They have migrated from Jharkhand and come to Keonjhar after crossing the Baitarani.
A few days ago, the tusker entered Joda during the day. Panicky villagers pelted stones and fireballs at the animal to drive it away. “Indiscriminate mining and rampant industrialization has led to shortage of food for wild animals. This has forced the animals to enter human habitations in search of food,” said Harekrushna Mohanta, an environmentalist.