ROURKELA: A four-year-old child was killed on Thursday night at Kokerama village of Birmitrapur forest range after being trampled to death by an elephant. The deceased has been identified as Rahul Badaik. With this, the total human casualties in elephant attack rose to 10 in less than five months in Rourkela Forest Division (RFD) of Sundargarh district.
Rourkela Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Dilip Sahu said a herd of six elephants recently formed into two groups. While three elephants are staying in north Chirubera forest of Bisra range, another group was spotted at Dumaguda forest under Birmitrapur range. One marauding adult female elephant of the group in Dumaguda entered Kokerama village, 2 km away from the forest, in search of food on Thursday night. Aware of the elephant’s presence near his house, the victim’s father Krishna Badaik (30) tried to flee holding the boy. But, unfortunately, the boy slipped from his hand and the elephant trampled the child to death, he added.
Sahu said the victim’s elder brother was taken to safety by his uncle and other occupants of the house also escaped safely. The elephant squad members present on the other side of the village rushed to the village immediately and the elephant retreated into Dumaguda forest. Sources said in January, five villagers were killed in RFD limits, while two persons were killed in February and one in April. So far in May, two persons, including the child, were killed.