DHENKANAL: With the crop harvesting season on, elephants continue to attack people and damage crops in various parts of the district.
A villager of Kendumunda under Kankadahada block in the district sustained critical injuries after being attacked by a tusker on Tuesday. He is Iswar Sahoo.
The incident occurred when Iswar was standing outside his house early on Tuesday. The tusker attacked him from behind after it was chased away by other villagers. An injured Iswar was admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital from where, he was shifted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar. Apparently, the tusker is a part of an 11-member elephant herd which has been damaging crops in Kankadahada, Pangatira and other areas nearby for the last two days.
Another herd of 25 elephants has damaged crops of groundnut, watermelon, sugarcane and paddy in five acres of land in Bhuban area while crossing river Brahmani on Sunday noon. Locals informed the forest officials who prevented the animals from entering human habitations in the area.
According to forest officials, a herd of 28 elephants has damaged vegetable and paddy crops in over 30 acres of land in Odapada block of the district in the last eight days.
Every year during the harvest season, elephants are attracted to agricultural lands by smell of ripe paddy and fruits. Villagers of Gaoilo, Rasasingh and Pasasingh under Odapada block said they are spending sleepless nights for the last one week as elephants continue to enter their villages to feast on ripe crops. DFO PK Sahoo said as the animals are now accustomed to bursting of fire crackers, efforts to drive them away by using this technique yields no results. He added that elephant squads are on the move to prevent the animals from entering villages and attacking people.