Another elephant carcass found in Athagarh forest in Odisha

The tusker along with a wild boar was reportedly electrocuted after coming in contact with a GI wire
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

CUTTACK: The decomposed carcass of a tusker was recovered from a cashew forest at Betia Dhadimundia near Jenapada beat house on Khuntakata-Ansupa Road within Athagarh division on Thursday. The 15 to 20-year-old elephant is suspected to have been electrocuted to death by farmers of adjacent villages as forest officials rarely conduct patrolling in the area. Both the tusks were found intact.  

As per reports, locals spotted the carcass by following a foul smell emanating from the cashew forest. They also found the decomposed carcass of a wild boar lying at a distance of 30 metres from that of the tusker.  

On being informed, senior forest officials including two ACFs of the Joint Task Force, local police, deputy electrical inspector and other officials of TPCODL rushed to the spot and launched an investigation. GI wires and plastic wires were seized in and around cultivated land near the spot where the carcass was found.

“From preliminary investigation, both animals are suspected to have been electrocuted by the GI wire from an 11 KV electric line passing near the spot around four to five days back. However, the postmortem report is awaited for confirmation,” said Athagarh DFO JD Pati.

Postmortem of both the carcasses was conducted by Athagarh veterinary surgeon Subhashri Nayak and additional veterinary surgeon Monalisha Samal and the samples have been sent to OUAT, Bhubaneswar for examination, Pati said.

Locals however have alleged the two animals were electrocuted to death by some unscrupulous farmers due to gross negligence on the part of local forest officials.  Local forest officials never conduct patrolling in the locality. The tusker reportedly got separated from its herd and had been moving in and around the locality for the last five days, they said.

“Had the forest officials conducted patrolling regularly, such incident would not have occurred,” said the locals while demanding stringent action against not only the accused but also the forest officials for negligence of duty.

Frequent poaching of elephants and other wild animals in the Athagarh forest division has led to widespread discontentment among wildlife lovers who have raised concerns over the matter and urged higher authorities to curb the menace.

Jumbo worry

  •  Locals have alleged the Forest dept does not conduct regular patrolling in the forest
  •  They said the two animals were electrocuted by some local farmers

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The New Indian Express