Locals in panic as Jharkhand herd enters Mayurbhanj

Sources said the herd comprising 27 elephants had entered Keonjhar from Jharkhand after crossing Baitarani river around two months back.
Locals tease the herd while trying to shoo it away from the area
Locals tease the herd while trying to shoo it away from the area Photo | Express

BARIPADA: Residents of over 20 villages in Haladia panchayat in Karanjia forest division are living in fear after a herd of 27 elephants sneaked into human settlements on Friday morning.

Sources said the herd had entered Keonjhar from Jharkhand after crossing Baitarani river around two months back. It entered Haladia panchayat on the day. Following the elephants’ entry into the area, the locals urged the Forest department to ensure their safety. The villagers, as a preventive measure, have kept ‘mahula’ flowers and other food items far from their houses to keep away the elephants.

A video shot on a mobile phone in which some youth can be seen teasing the elephants is doing rounds prompting the Forest department to warn people from indulging in such activities. Official sources said on being informed by the staff of Keonjhar wildlife division, a team of forest personnel rushed to Haladia and warned people not to tease the elephants.

Official sources said the herd is presently roaming in Haladia forest under Singda beat and additional personnel have been deployed to watch its movement. Besides, the department has urged TPNODL to take preventive measures to ensure the elephants do not come in contact with high tension live wires. The department also warned people of the area not to venture into the forest to collect leaves.

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