BARIPADA: In yet another instance of man-animal conflict, a 30-year-old man was trampled to death by a wild tusker on Friday morning in Bangiriposi range under Baripada territorial division. The deceased has been identified as Ratha Behera, a native of Jamdapal village.
Sources said Ratha went to the fields early in the morning to attend call of nature when a wild tusker attacked him, killing him on the spot. On noticing the body, locals informed forest personnel of Bangiriposi range who along with Bangiriposi police rushed to the spot and recovered the body for autopsy.
Contacted, Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Baripada territorial division Dillip Kumar Barik said the forest department immediately provided a compensation of `40,000 out of `4 lakh, to the kin of the deceased. The rest of the compensation will be provided after adequate documents are submitted by the family.
However, locals have blamed the Forest department for its failure to keep watch on movement of the wild elephants who are on a rampage in Bangiriposi range for quite some time now. Earlier, elephants of Similipal forest and Dalma sanctuary of Jharkhand used to trespass into human settlements and damaged property of residents worth lakhs in the range. “The Forest department claims to have adequate manpower and protection assistants to provide 24 hour service in keeping a watch on the movement of elephants, but the ground reality is different,” claimed locals Alok Swain and Pritish Mohanta.
According to official reports, as many as 12 persons were killed in jumbo attacks between January and October this year. Though the Forest department has engaged protection assistance along with forest personnel, Sabuja Bahini, Vana Surakshya Samitis and Gaja Sathis, there has been no respite from elephant attacks. Baripada territorial division has reported most of the cases among the five divisions of the district.