Odisha: Forest officer asked to explain delay in detection of elephant carcass with missing tusks

PCCF says where the carcass was found in Athagarh forest is an ideal elephant habitat with lot of water bodies

Published: 03rd February 2023 08:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

Carcass with part of the head missing in Badamba forest range

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Taking serious view of the delay in detection of the elephant carcass with a severed trunk and missing tusks in the Baramba forest range, the Wildlife Wing of the Forest department has asked the Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) to explain the reason.

The DFO has been asked to explain as to why there was a delay in the detection of the carcass, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) (Wildlife) and chief wildlife warden SK Popli told The New Indian Express on Thursday. In case there are any lapses, responsibility will also be fixed on forest officials, he said.

Ironically, the area where the elephant’s carcass was found is where two protection camps have been set up. Popli said the investigation into the matter is in progress with the help of police and members of a joint task force, and arrests will be made as soon as the culprits are identified. 

Describing the incident as unfortunate, the PCCF said, the place near Maniabandha where the carcass was found is an ideal elephant habitat with a lot of water bodies.

“We have set up two camps there,” he said.

After the incident was reported, Chief Conservator of Forests Manoj V Nair and Angul RCCF M Yogajayanand rushed to the spot to investigate into the matter and submit a preliminarily report, he said. 

The PCCF has directed officials concerned to strengthen patrolling measures after it was found that the incident occurred sometimes after the patrolling squad’s visit to the area. “We have gathered that during field inspection in the area last week, the patrolling team had found nothing. It is suspected that it might have occurred after their return,” he said.  

The jumbo, aged about 18 to 20 years, is suspected to have been poached five to six days back in Haladiasuni reserve forest but the forest officials had no inkling of it till Tuesday. The poachers had sawed off a part of the head to take out the tusks. 

If sources are to be believed, the elephant was shot which is being investigated. Sources said metal detector used during the autopsy had found lead material stuck inside the decomposed body lends credence to the fact. In June last year, as many as five elephant deaths were reported from Athagarh forest division.


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