Sajanagad: Nearly 28 elephants from Jharkhand entered in herds into the Nilagiri area in Balasore district late Monday night. The elephants strayed from the neighbouring state and passed through Mayurbhanj, Nadour, Pundala, Kathapali, Durgadevi, Patana and Ajodhya before entering the Gopalpur reserve forest.
Their presence has triggered panic among the locals. Forest officials have surrounded the animals in the forest and have been keeping a close watch on their movement.
The area had seen entry of 38 elephants in October, 2018 and 58 jumbos in November, 2018. The pachyderms had been on a damaging spree before they were pushed back into the Jharkhand side.
Following a directive from Balasore divisional forest officer Biswaraj Panda, a team of forest officials including Kuladiha assistant conservator of forest Laxman Pradhan, Nilagiri ranger Sukumar Das and five foresters along with guards and members of the Sabuja Bahini were deployed in the area. They are keeping a close watch on the movement of the animals.