BARIPADA: A herd comprising 22 elephants has been wreaking havoc in many villages within Karanjia wildlife division for the last four days. The herd is said to have entered the district from Keonjhar.
The elephant herd, after crossing Baitarani river, entered Silimaposi and then moved towards Uttarposi, Kasipal and Gharamabedha reserve forest. The pachyderms have damaged crops in 12 villages within Karanjia and Duhiani wildlife divisions.
Dhabaleswar Panigrahi of Khiching village said crops on several hectare land were damaged by the herd. He said another herd had entered the village two months back and damaged crops.
Residents of affected villages are spending sleepless nights and using traditional methods like burning logs and beating drums to scare away the elephants.
Sources said the wall of a water supply project was broken by the herd at Adipur village on Sunday night.
DFO of Karanjia wildlife division Gajanan Lade said the herd is is roaming in Mota reserve forest within Dudhiani range at present and its movement is being monitored by forest personnel.
While officials have been asked to assess crop damage in the villages, locals have been advised not to stock mahua poach in their houses.