No Let-up in Elephant Attack - The New Indian Express

No Let-up in Elephant Attack

Published: 05th December 2013 09:07 AM

Last Updated: 05th December 2013 09:07 AM

Elephants from Jharkhand wreaked havoc in villages bordering Kuldiha reserve forest in the district on Wednesday. 

They raided the human habitations and damaged houses and everything that came their way.

The herd of 110 elephants  had strayed into Kanthasimulia, Bholagadia, Bedhasahi, Pokharia, Jamudiha, Kalijhati, Sataranda, Rajendrapur, Nuasahi, Banthiapada and Astarukhi villages and destroyed a dozen houses besides eating paddy and other food items. So far, 88 houses have been damaged in elephant raids.

Many villagers of Kanthasimulia deserted their houses to escape elephant attack. Later, the forest personnel reached there and chased the animals away.

While villagers claimed that the elephants turned violent after sighting carcass of a four-month-old calf near a water body in Kanthasimulia village on Wednesday, forest officials refused to buy the argument.

DFO Harsha Bardhan Udgata said one of the tuskers turned violent after it had ‘handia’ (a country brew made out of rice) in one of the houses. “Later, the intoxicated elephant went on a damaging spree,” he said. 

The calf died of suffocation as it got struck in the mud of the water body while trying to have water, said the DFO adding that officials have been instructed to remain vigilant and rescue elephant calves from such mishaps.

While three female elephants and two calves of the herd have died in the last one month, two persons have succumbed to elephant attacks in both Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts.

Meanwhile, forest authorities have resumed ‘Operation Tinikosia’ to drive out the elephants which have been spreading terror in five panchayats for the last 27 days.

The DFO said the elephant herd had been driven out of Tinikosia forest and reached Patana forest. “They are expected to enter Betnoti forest division of Mayurbhanj district by Thursday night,” Udgata added.

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