Champua/Sambalpur: People of several villages under Champua forest range in Keonjhar district have been spending sleepless nights for the past few weeks. This is because approximately 50 elephants belonging to different herds are are causing widespread destruction. The pachyderms are destroying farmlands and even houses of the villagers at night.
Sources said a herd of 20 elephants is holed up in Balibandh section, eight in Ukhunda section and 21 in Bamebari section.
Locals alleged that elephant menace has been a perennial problem for them for years, resulting in loss of life and property.
Deputy ranger Sanjib Rout said the Forest department has kept a close watch on these elephants. “A 38-member elephant squad, over 20 Gajasathis and six other groups are tracking the animals. Their movements are being monitored on a continuous basis,” informed Rout.
Meanwhile, a report from Sambalpur said, a tusker was found critically wounded in Murgabani forest under Padiabahal range. The animal has multiple wounds. A team of experts from OUAT, Bhubaneswar, and forest officials started treatment of the animal after tranquilizing it. It is expected that the animal will get well soon. The elephant has been sick for over a month and might have been wounded in a fight with another, officials informed.