BARIPADA: The carcass of yet another tusker was recovered in Mayurbhanj district on Wednesday. This is the seventh elephant death in the district in the last one month. The series of jumbo deaths has left the forest officials and wildlife activists worried.
Receiving information, the forest personnel recovered the carcass of the male elephant from a paddy field near Na’ana village under Gudgudia range of Karanjia division. The spot is nearly 50 km from Karanjia divisional office and 4 km from Odisha-Jharkhand border. Its tusks were, however, intact.
Karanjia DFO Prasanna Kumar Behera said that the 25-year-old tusker’s body was spotted on Tuesday evening. “It could not be recovered as a herd of elephants stood guard by surrounding the carcass. Staff kept a watch on the body in the night and recovered it after the herd left it in the morning,” he said.
Meanwhile, a scientific team, veterinary surgeons and dog squad along with senior forest officials visited the spot and collected samples for tests. Post-mortem of the body would be conducted on Thursday.
Locals alleged that the wild tusker was poisoned to death and it is suspected to be the handiwork of a well-organised gang of poachers from the neighbouring State. “As the spot is close to Jharkhand border, the hands of the poachers from the neighbouring State cannot be ruled out. The poachers kill elephants by poisoning them through salt,” said wildlife activist Vanoo Mitra Acharya.
The DFO, however, said that two packets of pesticides were traced by the dog squad in close ranges of the spot. “We have sent the blood samples to Bhubaneswar for tests. The report is awaited. We can come to the conclusion once we get the report and autopsy is conducted,” he added.
Sources said this tusker was a part of the 35-member elephant herd from Dalma wildlife sanctuary of Jharkhand which had strayed into Mayurbhanj 20 days back. On November 21, another tusker from the same herd was found dead in Bijatala area under Rairangpur division and its tusks were removed.
Earlier, five elephants had been found dead in Mayurbhanj forests.
While a female elephant died after delivering a stillborn calf at Alakudar under Kaliani beat in Gudgudia range of Karanjia division on November 23, another female was found dead in Kaptipada area on November 25.