Forest officials suspect anthrax amid poaching claim in Odisha

Carcasses of two elephants including a calf were found in Kuldiha sanctuary under Balasore forest division in the last two days.

Published: 22nd March 2022 04:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2022 04:44 AM   |  A+A-

Carcass of the adult female elephant in Kuldiha | Express

By Express News Service

BALASORE:  Carcasses of two elephants including a calf were found in Kuldiha sanctuary under Balasore forest division in the last two days. While Forest officials suspect anthrax to be the reason behind the jumbo deaths, locals alleged that it was the handiwork of poachers.

According to villagers, the carcasses were spotted at Phatachaturi under Panchulingeswar beat within Kuldiha range. “After villagers complained of foul smell, we went to the forest and found the decomposed carcass of an elephant on Saturday. The forest officials of Kuldiha were immediately informed. The next day, we were told that a baby elephant was found dead only a few hundred metres away from the spot where the adult carcass was recovered,” said a local. 

Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) of Similipal Tiger Reserve M Yogajayanand rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. The female elephant was aged over 13 years while the calf was around a month-old. “Since dark blood was oozing out of the carcasses, we suspect the elephants might have died of anthrax,” the RCCF said.

However, locals believe that the elephants were killed by poachers. “It is likely that poachers might have laid traps to kill elephants for their tusks. But in the night, they mistakenly killed the female elephant and the calf,” alleged a villager.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Balasore Bimal Prasanna Acharya said a team of veterinary doctors from Oupada went to spot on Sunday and performed autopsy on the elephant’s carcass. On Monday, postmortem was conducted on the calf.  The exact cause of the elephant deaths can be ascertained once the postmortem reports arrive, the DFO added.


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