Charred remains of 2 elephants recovered from Kolagaon forests in Sambalpur division

On being informed about illegal disposal of elephant carcasses, the STF team launched a joint operation with the field staff of Sambalpur forest division and veterinary officials.

Published: 25th July 2022 10:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2022 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

The charred skeletal remains of an elephant in Kolagaon forest. (Photo| Express)

The charred skeletal remains of an elephant in Kolagaon forest. (Photo| Express)

By Express News Service

SAMBALPUR/BHUBANESWAR: Amid reports of multiple jumbo death cover-ups in Athagarh, the Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch has recovered charred skeletal remains of two elephants from Kolagaon forests under Dhama range in Sambalpur division. 

The elephants are suspected to have been poached for their tusks. The half-burnt carcasses were recovered by an STF team in presence of government witnesses and Khurda Honorary Wildlife Warden Subhendu Mallik on Saturday. 

On being informed about illegal disposal of elephant carcasses, the STF team launched a joint operation with the field staff of Sambalpur forest division and veterinary officials. “One of the jumbo carcasses was found in a half-burnt state in the forest of Kolagaon section.

Subsequently, the charred remains of another elephant was found in the forests near Tabalei. The skeletal remains were seized and a report has been submitted to the officials concerned,” said STF DSP SN Rath. STF officials said the carcasses appear to be that of adult elephants. An unnatural death case has been registered and samples of the carcasses sent for forensic test. The exact details regarding age, sex, time and cause of death of the pachyderms can be ascertained after the forensic report is received, they added.

Meanwhile, recovery of two more jumbo carcasses by the STF team has once again raised questions on the field-level functioning of the Forest department which is facing backlash over cover-up of five elephant deaths in Athagarh division this year and arrest of multiple forest staff in this connection. 

Mallik questioned the absence of the DFO or any other senior forest officer during recovery of the carcasses from Sambalpur division. He said this is a violation of the guidelines issued by the department in 2020 and sought a thorough investigation into the role of forest officials in this connection. “It seems such disposal of jumbo carcasses could not have taken place without the knowledge of the officials of the division,” Mallik alleged. 

Officials of Sambalpur division are already facing criticism over the death of an elephant which succumbed to bullet injuries on June 21. PCCF Wildlife Shashi Paul couldn’t be reached for his comments.



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