Bhubaneswar: The last fiscal year proved to be the most brutal for the elephants as the year reported the highest ever deaths of the jumbos in the state.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha Tuesday furnished the data relating to the deaths of elephants in the last decade in the Assembly. The government data hinted that the deaths of elephants have escalated in the last three years while 2018 was the worst.
According to the data, 93 elephants died in 2018-19, the highest in the last 10 years since 2009-10. While the total deaths of elephants in 2009-10 were 51, it notched up to 93 in 2018-19.
The government data said that the magnitude of electrocution deaths reached its peak in 2018. The highest number of deaths due to diseases was also reported among the jumbos in 2018-19. However, the statistics claim that in the last one decade not a single jumbo was killed in retaliatory killing.
The minister in his written reply claimed that special measures had been taken to curb the deaths of elephants due to several accidents and other reasons including diseases. Elephant corridors and jumbo pathways have been carved out in the state for their smooth movement, said the minister.
He also said that his department often holds meetings with the power companies to discuss issues of electrocution deaths due to high tension wires coming in contact with them. He also said that the department also conducts regular meetings with the Railway department to ensure the movement of trains does not pose any threat to the jumbos and ways to reduce the cases of fatalities of elephants due to collision of their herds with the moving trains.
While talking about the tiger population the minister also cited data relating to their reduced population in the state but said that special measures had been taken to ensure their welfare in the Similipal and Satkosia reasons in the state.