Sajanagad: After entering Nilagiri range in Balasore district, a herd of over 80 elephants from Jharkhand has been on a damaging spree in five panchayats around Gopalpur reserve forest since Tuesday. Panicked over the movement of the marauding herd, people in five panchayats have lost their sleep. 15 elephants damaged four houses and killed a goat in Bhaunriabada panchayat late Tuesday night.
Munsi Nayak, his wife Sabitri and their children were in the house when elephants attacked the house. As they screamed for life, villagers woke up and rushed to the spot. The animals got on the back foot and escapes.
The animals have reportedly damaged paddy heaps and sacks of Niranjan Khandei. The jumbos have also damaged houses of Budhiram Singh and Aju Singh at Hatiashila village in Mahisapat panchayat. The animals have damaged the house of Kartik Singh and trampled one of his goats to death.
Sources said, the elephants were holed up in Gopalpur reserve forest. They are unable to migrate to other forests due to trenches and solar fencing around the reserve forest.
It was learnt that the animals have become more violent after receiving shocks from solar fencing. Another reason could be a large number of people throng the reserve forest to see the elephants. This makes the pachyderms feel shy to come out the of the place and go to Satkosia forest
As they confined themselves to one forest, they are hungry for shortage of fodder and come out at night to human habitations in search of food and go on a damaging spree.
The animals have damaged paddy in the farmland. The animals had left Asanabani forest Monday night and entered Gopalpur reserve forest after crossing Durgadevi, Pundala, Kathapal, Patna forests under Nilagiri range. They have damaged crops during their movement.
Forest officials, members of Sabuja Bahini and police kept a close vigil on the movement of the elephants.