Dhenkanal: A tusker has been creating problems in the Odapada forest range in Dhenkanal district for a month, and has now become a burden on the forest department.
Local people and forest officials said that in the last one year the tusker had created problems in the Parajang area for some days, and then it went to Talcher and killed five persons in a single night.
The tusker has again come to Odapada block and has started creating havoc in the area. In the last two weeks, the tusker has killed three people in this block. The animal is now on the rampage in the Gailo, Odapada and Gunudei areas.
People here have stopped moving on village roads during early mornings and in the evenings fearing the jumbo. It is learnt that the tusker has become more aggressive after it was tranquilised and its tusks were trimmed after the Talcher incident.
The incidents have created anger among local people leading to law and order problems. The tusker has become a headache for the police too.
The forest department had sought permission from the higher authorities to tranquilise the elephant and shift it to a safe place. However, the authorities denied permission for another tranquilisation of the tusker.
Now, the forest department has no other option, but to drive away the jumbo. The tusker crossed river Brahmani two days back and has entered the Parjang area.
Divisional forest officer, Sudarshan Patra said, “The tusker is creating problems in Odapada block and we are concerned. The Nandankanan Zoological Park authorities have also refused to take the elephant. It is too difficult to keep the tusker in the Kapilash rescue shed.”
The forest department is keeping a close watch on the movement of the pachyderm. There is no other way, but to drive away the tusker, he added.
A proposal was made to the wildlife department to pay local people under the Gajabandhu Yojana to make villagers aware about the danger. But no order has come to the forest department, he said.