Bhubaneswar: As many as 784 elephants have died in Odisha in a span of 10 years, a state minister said Tuesday.
Accidents, disease, poisoning by poachers and electrocution were some of the reasons for the elephant deaths in the state, Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister P K Amat said in the Odisha Assembly.
Pointing out that the state government has demarcated 14 elephant corridors for the safe movement of jumbos, the minister said action plans have been made to stop the poaching of elephants and their deaths due to train accidents and electrocution.
The minister said this in a written reply to BJP member Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra.
“Since 2022, 11 elephants have been killed by miscreants in the forests of the state”, the minister said.
The man-elephant conflict has also claimed 925 lives and attacks by pachyderms caused permanent disability in 212 people in the state between 2012 and 2022, the minister said.
Mentioning that the state has 1,976 elephants as per the 2017 census, the minister said while 80 people died in man-elephant encounters in 2012-13, it increased to 105 in 2017-18, 139 in 2020-21 and 112 in 2021-22.
The highest number of 139 people were killed in elephant attacks in 2020-21, the minister said adding that as many as 51 people have become permanently disabled in 2021-22 in jumbo attacks across Odisha.
Mentioning the death of 784 elephants in the last 10 years, the minister said, while 82 jumbos died in 2012-13, the number rose to 86 in 2015-16, 93 in 2018-19 and 86 in 2021-22.
The state government conducted an investigation into 39 elephant deaths and filed charge sheets against 50 people during the period. However, not even a single accused has been convicted in these cases so far, the minister said.
Replying to another question, the minister said that the state government has made a provision of Rs 4 lakh as compensation to family members of people getting killed by jumbos.