Baripada: Even as man-elephant conflict is precipitating in various parts of the state for the last several years, elephant casualties are on the rise in some pockets of Mayurbhanj district with the jumbos said to be animals allegedly not safe in Similipal sanctuary too.
In the last three months, elephant deaths have been reported from Dukura, Karanjia, Jashipur, Gudugudua, Bisoi and other ranges where the animals are being poached or die from other causes.
Anthrax is a major reason for elephant casualties. As many as eight elephants have died of anthrax between 2014 and 2016, according to a recent report.
The number of elephants in Similipal sanctuary is declining due to deaths while Karanjia range has witnessed a spurt of elephant deaths recently.
According to reports of Orissa Wildlife, the enumeration survey of 2015 puts the number of elephants in Similipal at 512, including 283 female elephants and 132 calves.
Friday, an elephant calf was found dead in Sansula area under Dukura range.
In the last few months, decomposed carcasses of 10 elephants were recovered in various parts of the district.
One elephant carcass each was found in Dukura, Udala, Bahalada, Jashipur
and Jamada. Karnajia meanwhile reported two deaths.
Anthrax, poaching and accidents are major factors responsible for growing elephant casualties. A tusker died after falling from a height in Pahadpur forest under Gurugudia range December 8, 2015. Its death was attributed to poisoning.
An elephant calf was found dead in Mukuna forest under Karanjia range
October 8, 2015.
Two female elephants and a calf had died in the same area in September 2016.
Besides, carcasses of two female elephants and its calf were recovered at Chamarasahi under Gurugudia range a few months back. Forest officials had spotted the carcass of a 12-year-old elephant near Batesahi forest under Dudhiani range.
Between 2010 and 2016, as many as 476 elephants died for various reasons while 426 people were killed in elephant attacks across the state.
Environmentalists and wildlife experts claim deforestation has caused habitat loss to the animals, which stray out in search of food into human habitations and damage houses and crops almost every day in forest pockets.
Forest officials have been deployed in several pockets to protect life and property of villagers and drive away the animals, but problem has not been sorted out as
yet though crores of rupees are being spent for protection of elephants, wildlife experts rued.
They said rampant mining, growth of industries, road and railway projects inside forests, poaching and electricity transmission though forests are major factors responsible for elephant casualties. PNN