Sambalpur: Following a report published in Orissa POST about suspected killing of a tusker by poachers in Mundei-Dumberchua reserve forest under Sambalpur forest division, the forest department has intensified its probe to know its veracity.
Notably, locals talked about possibility of an elephant having been killed and buried in the forest as foul smell had spread in the area Tuesday. On being informed about it, the DFO had ordered an investigation into the matter Tuesday.
ACF Madanlal Sharma visited the forest where the tusker was suspected to have been buried. Jhankarpalli forester Suryanarayan Khillari, Bhimkhoj forester Kulamani Panigrahi and other forest officials visited the area, but failed to find the carcass.
Surprisingly, they found marks of tyres of bike and vehicles crisscrossing the area. This pointed to possible presence of poachers in the forest. A team of officials was still carrying out a search for the carcass in the forest.
A local resident claimed that a decomposed carcass of a tusker was lying near a pond in the forest some days ago. The carcass had no tusks, but had injury marks.
It was suspected that the animal had died five days ago as a foul smell had spread in the area. But there was no trace of the carcass anywhere. Locals suspected that poachers might have burnt the carcass with petrol and firewood.
The burnt remains of the carcass might have been buried somewhere to destroy the evidence. Elephants have been causing mayhem in the area for a week. Locals claimed that the tusker might be part of the herd.
For the last few days, Tharli, Bhabanipalli, Mundei and Sitelpalli are witnessing elephant menace. A herd of 26 elephants damaged paddy and other crops in the region.
Notably, an elephant had been killed earlier in Padiabahal range. Its carcass had been burnt and buried. However, it was then alleged that the forest department had suppressed the matter.