Bhubaneswar: Poachers have killed a total of 802 wild animals in Odisha in the last five years. This information was given Tuesday by Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Bikarm Keshari Arukha in the Odisha Assembly. Among the animals hunted down in various forests of Odisha were tigers, elephants and endangered species. The minister further went on to say that these wild animals were killed between 2016-17 and 2020-21. Arukha also informed that a total of 3,248 poachers have been apprehended in Odisha during the same time frame.
Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, BJD MLA from Khandapada, had raised an unstarred question about the number of elephants, tigers, and endangered species killed in Odisha in the last five years and the number of poachers arrested. He also sought district-level information on forests in the state that have been damaged by fire in the last five years. According to the minister, 42,003 hectares of forest have been damaged in the state in 2021 only.
In response to another question from Suresh Kumar Routray, a Congress MLA from Jatni, the minister replied that 406 elephants died in the state between 2016-17 and 2020-21.
Arukha informed that that 162 elephant deaths occurred due to accidents of various natures. Among them, 14 elephants were killed when they were hit by trains, 54 were electrocuted and four were killed when they after being hit by vehicles. He also informed that 90 elephants died due to a variety of reasons, including illness while 11 were killed by poachers.