Tusker on loose to be captured, trained (Bhubaneswar, India)


Akshaya Kumar Sahoo, The Asian Age

Date Published

A tusker that has killed 27 persons in the last eight years and is moving in forests spreading across three districts such as Angul, Sambalpur and Deogarh has sent the Orissa forest officials into a tizzy.

Sources said most of the victims were killed by the marauding animal while collecting firewood and forest produces. Some of them were even killed while taking rest at their homes, located in villages adjacent to forests.

According to Sudarsan Panda, the chief conservator of forest (CCF), Angul, he has discussed the issue with the chief wildlife warden of Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary to capture and shift the elephant to Chandaka, where the animal can be kept under proper surveillance.

“We have decided to rein in the marauding tusker that so far killed at least 27 persons. After it is captured, we will send it to Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary where he will be kept in confinement. Then, the animal will un-dergo behavioural chang-es under experienced tra-iners,” the CCF told rep-orters in Angul on Friday.

On Thursday, the tusker had killed one Digambar Sahoo of Bhalukhaidhipa village in Dhenkanal district when he was collecting wild mushrooms in the nearby jungle.

Sources said the department took the decision to trap the tusker and send it for training at Chandaka following demands by residents of several villages in Angul, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts.

In Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, the forest department trains wild and marauding elephants in forest protection. The trained elephants are engaged to check felling of trees by timber mafia. Besides, they are also used to drive out wild elephant herds that sometimes venture into human habitations and cause huge damage to human life and property.