Cuttack: The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) said Thursday that a special team has been formed to investigate the death of an elephant in Athagarh forest division in Cuttack district. The team will also look into the issue of skeletal remains of two elephants being found in the same forest range recently. It will be a three-member team and will be led by the chief conservator of forests (CCF). The other members of the squad will be a wildlife conservator and an official of the Crime Branch. However, the divisional forest officer (DFO) will not be a part of the investigation team.
It should be stated here that Wednesday the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had asked for an action taken report (ATR) from the state Forest department on the incident, where a male elephant was found injured with gun shots in Athagarh forest division of Cuttack district,
In a letter, the Ministry asked PCCF (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Sashi Paul to look into the matter and take strict action as per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It also directed the official to submit a detailed action taken report on the incident through email at the earliest.
A tusker was injured with six to seven bullet wounds on its body June 7. The pachyderm had been shot on its head, trunk and leg. Despite the best efforts of veterinary doctors from Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), the animal succumbed to the injuries June 14.
It should also be mentioned here that in the last five years more than 800 elephants have been killed in Odisha.