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Man-animal conflict comes to fore as two wild elephants carcass recovered in Odisha’s Keonjhar

Barbil, Jul 20: In yet another instances of man-elephant conflict due to depleting forest cover and intrusion into dedicated elephant corridors owing to mining in the mineral rich Keonjhar, two wild elephants were found dead near Raba village under Bhuyan Juang Pidha Range in Odisha’s Keonjhar district on Monday.

As per reports, locals found carcasses of a female and a baby elephant near Raba village Kusakala panchayat this morning and alerted the Forest Department in this regard.

On being informed, a team Forest Officials including Keonjhar DFO Swayam Mallick reached the spot and started investigation into the matter. 

Efforts are on to ascertain the cause of the death of the jumbos, officials said.

Sources said, a herd of elephants were spotted in the area last evening.

The increasing incidence of death of Jumbos in the district has posed serious question marks on protection measures of the Forest Department.

The exact cause of their deaths was unknown yet, they added.

The officials said the carcasses of a 20-year-old female elephant and a five year old calf were spotted by residents in Raba village under Bhuyan Juang Pidh forest Range on Monday morning.

A herd of elephants had come to the village on Sunday night in search of food.

“Electrocution is ruled out as no 11 KV power line passes in that area. There is however a low-tension power line, but it is cabled. The deaths likely happened early morning. To find out the cause of death, we have sent samples of the carcasses to Centre for Wildlife Health at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology in Bhubaneswar. The exact cause of death can be ascertained only after reports which will arrive after nearly 10 days,” said divisional forest officer (Keonjhar) Swayam Mallick.

There are apprehension of the elephants being poisoned to death by mixing poisons with some fruits like jackfruit or liquor.

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