Sambalpur: The forest department in Sambalpur district is planning to set up a 10-acre elephant shelter home for wild elephants at Jujumura far away from human settlement.
According to forest officials, there are many elephants in the jungle who are rejected by their herds owing to old age and many baby elephants who are suffering from various difficulties in the jungle after losing their mother elephants.
To save these elephants the forest department will open an elephant shelter home at Jujumura, said DFO Sanjit Kumar. This will be the first of its kind shelter home in western Odisha, Kumar added.
Kumar further explained that various NGOs along with state government and central government are helping the forest department for the security of elephants. At the shelter home, a rescue centre will be made functional in a bid to provide security to old elephants, baby elephants and injured elephants.
PCCF Wild Life Office Bhubaneswar Harishankar Upadhaya had visited two places in Sambalpur in this context and selected the bare land at Jujumara for the construction of the shelter home.
In the first phase, Rs 50 crore will be spent on construction of the shelter home.
In the shelter home, the forest department will plant various types of big trees including bamboo to give the elephant a homely atmosphere. For drinking water of the elephants, the forest department will dig a big pond as well.
A small veterinary hospital will also be made functional for the treatment of old elephants and injured ones. The forest department has written a letter to the state government seeking permission for employment of a veterinary doctor.
The baby elephants are fully dependant on their mother’s milk until they are two years old. Some trained workers will be deployed at the shelter homes to ensure that thebaby elephants are taken care of.
The baby elephants will be released into forests after attaining adulthood. The forest officials will take care of the security of the elephants in the shelter home through a mobile app and tracking system.