Mayurbhanj: A herd of around 70 elephants strayed into Mayurbhanj district along Odisha-West Bengal border on Sunday. The herd largely populated with calves was spotted roaming in the forests located near Lodhakundia and Palo village under Suliapada forest range.
While elephant movement is a regular activity in the district in the month of October every year, the early invasion of the herd this year has left people panic stricken in the area. People are spending sleepless nights in the villages located under Rasgobindpur forest range in a bid to protect their crops and property. According to reports, the herd is moving towards Nilgiri through Deiliganj and Rasgobindpur forest.
“Situation is very tense here, around 70-75 elephants were seen in the herd. We dispersed the herd into the neighboring West Bengal state near Kaptisar at around 10.30 pm on Sunday. People are panicked in the villages here and taking shelter in nearby concrete houses,” said Ranjeet Dhir, a villager.
“A special team has been formed by the forest department to control the movement of the elephants in the area and steps are being taken to avert any loss to lives and property,” said Sanjay Kumar Swain,District Forest Officer, Baripada.