Wild jumbos continue to haunt Dalma foothills, wreak havoc (India)


Times of India

Date Published

The fury of wild elephants continues unabated in the foothills of Dalma in the adjoining Seraikela-Kharswan district. 56-year-old Bharat Mahato was grievously injured after a herd of wild elephants stormed into his house in Kumradih village in Ichagarh early on Saturday.

Mahato, who received an injury on his leg, said, “It was around 4 am when the herd suddenly stormed into the house.”

Seraikela divisional forest officer (DFO), A Ekka, said a herd of 18 elephants apparently got separated from the flock while travelling from Saranda forest to Dalma via the Sini and Manique route. The jumbos descended on localities last Sunday night, and continued to roam the area till Saturday, he added.

The DFO also said that an exercise is underway to chase the herd away.

“The elephants descended in the Sini and Manique area that is close to Chandil dam in search of water, but our flying squad chased away one group of elephants and the remaining elephants will also be chased away,” Ekka said.

A 10-member flying squad, equipped with necessary equipment like firecrackers and torches, has been given adequate training to chase away the wild jumbos, Ekka added.

In the past week, the herd has damaged over a dozen houses and destroyed many paddy crops in different villages in Gamharia, Chandil and Ichagarh. Earlier on Friday, the elephants damaged four houses in Asanboni panchayat in Chandil and destroyed the crops in the field. The tuskers also damaged properties in more than nine villages in Gamharia earlier during the week.

“Luckily, no one sustained injuries when the elephants stormed into our house,” Thakur Das Singh, a resident of Birigora in Asonbani panchayat, said. Singh added that the herd, however, damaged the wall of the house and ate up the paddy stocked up.

Hare Krishna Singh narrated a case of how his family members ran out and called the forest department to arrange for firecrackers to chase away the elephants after the latter stormed into his house.