ANGUL: The successive death of three tuskers in Angul district in the current month has raised concern among the animal lovers and wildlife experts. While two adult tuskers were killed by poachers and electrocution, the third died due to ill health.
On November 9 night, poachers shot dead a 35-year-old tusker in Badagunda jungle under Khamar range of Deogarh forest division. They also took away his tusks worth over lakhs of rupees. Though Forest officials identified the culprits, no arrest has been made till date.
“We have identified the culprits who killed the tusker. We have also conducted several raids but have not nabbed them. They may have crossed over to the neighbouring district. We are on their trail and hope to nab them soon,” said Ramakanta Sethy, Range Officer of Khamar range.
Five days after the tusker’s killing Khamar range, another tusker died due to electrocution in Handapa forest range. This time, it was a 30-year-old elephant which died after coming in contact with live wire laid by poachers to prey boars near village Hemamura under Athmallick forest division. The tusker was one of the five-member herd that had strayed into the division from Angul on that night. Five persons were arrested by Forest officials in this connection.
“We had identified the villagers who had laid the live wire. The five accused were arrested and forwarded to court,” said Athmallick DFO S Samantaray.Again on November 23, an 8-year-old tusker died under Jilinda range of Satkosia wildlife division. While Forest officials claimed that he died of ill health, post-mortem report is still awaited.
Expressing concern over repeated deaths of elephants in the industrial district, animal expert Prasana Kumar Behera has urged the forest authorities to take proactive steps to stop the trend. “The elephant corridors should be improved, intelligence gathering strengthened and training imparted to tracking team to trace the live wire to prevent the death of wild animals in the district,” said Behera.