Jamshedpur, March 11: A 60-year-old man was trampled to death by an elephant at the Dalma wildlife sanctuary yesterday late night.
Gopal Singh Sardar, a resident of Bandih village, was asleep alone inside the jungle when the tusker attacked. He died on the spot.
According to Dalma range officer R P Singh, who reached the spot located this morning, Sardar was not staying at his house in Bandih as he had strained relations with his family. “Sardar had left his village sometime ago and used to sleep alone in the jungle. He used to come to his house for food, but later stopped meeting his family,” he added.
Meanwhile, forests department has issued alert as elephants are returning to their home in Dalma after spending over seven months in the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in neighboring West Bengal. Presently, the elephants, including calves, are stationed at Aamdapahari, Jamdih and Jhunjka, the three jungles in the fringes of the sanctuary.
The forest range office in Mango has alerted the villagers about the returning animals. Crackers have been distributed among the villagers and village youths employed as daily wagers to keep a watch on elephants and other animals put on high alert.
The picturesque environ of Dalma is about to abuzz with activities with over a dozen tuskers assembled in the fringe areas of the sprawling 192 sq km sanctuary.
Abundance of water and fodder had held up jumbos in forest of neighboring West Bengal. Jumbos generally return home to the reserve by the end of February or at the most by the first week of March. But this year they overstayed in West Bengal.
Notably, Dalma is the best elephant habitat of Jharkhand, where the pachyderms love to spend their summer. Dalma used to be pleasing with temperatures less than 30 degrees C.
But due to rising mercury over the years the elephants started migration to green pastures. The forest department has made arrangements to keep them anchored in Dalma, by providing water and greenery.
“We are keeping an eye on their movement. Two separate herds of about 25 elephants have already returned to the sanctuary, while the remaining are in the fringe pockets. They may be home anytime,” said Dalma range officer R P Singh.
A forester said villagers living near Aamdapahari, Jamdih and Jhunjka have informed them about the presence of the pachyderms.
“Food and water is not scarce at these three jungles. The elephants are expected to stay there for some time but would leave once the temperature shoots up. The jumbos return home once after temperature rises. This is a usual trend,” he added.