Sajanagad: The death of two elephants in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary under Nilagairi sub-division of Balasore district within 24 hours has raised concern among the forest officials and wildlife lovers. As per reports, the carcass of an adult elephant was recovered near Phatabaturi on the foothills of Debagiri near Guhalia and Juania villages under Baunsabania panchayat of the sanctuary Sunday. On the same night, a baby elephant was also found dead a few metres away from the place where the carcass of an adult elephant was recovered.
Earlier, forest officials had recovered the carcass of an adult elephant inside the sanctuary January 15. However, forest officials came to know about it 10 days after the elephant had died.
With the three jumbo deaths, the Kuldiha Sanctuary has become vulnerable to pachyderms, rued locals and the environmentalists.
Forest officials conducted a post-mortem of the carcasses and buried it inside the sanctuary.
Top forest department officials have rushed to the spot and are assessing the reasons that led to the death of the elephants. Balasore DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya, ACFO Sushant Jena, Kuldiha forest ranger Ananta Jena and Panchalingewar forester Bhagyashree Dwibedi and a veterinarian Dr Piyush Soren also reached the spot and joined the investigation. Sniffer dogs were also pressed into service which went around the villages near the sanctuary searching for clues.
Forest officials said the animals might have died due to some medical condition while the locals of Guhalia alleged that the animals were killed by poachers as their tusks were missing.
Locals claimed to have heard the loud trumpeting of the animals on the day of the incident. Later, they came to know about the carcass of an elephant lying in the forest. They held the forest officials responsible for the elephant deaths. They claimed it have happened due to incompetency of the forest officials.
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