Cassian Baliarsingh

A joint task force team will investigate the death of two elephants at Tileimal Patra jungle under Bamra Badram range in Kuchinda. The team will visit Sambalpur for the purpose tomorrow, revealed Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) SK Popli on Friday.

The Joint Task Force team has been formed a month ago to ensure the safety of wild animals. This will be the first case for the team to probe, sources said.

It may be mentioned that two pachyderms including a female elephant were found dead at Tileimal Patra jungle on Thursday.  As their carcasses were found lying near a paddy field, the Forest department attributes the death of the elephants to consumption of paddy laced with chemicals.

Briefing media, Popli said, “The joint task force comprising of wildlife experts, honorary wildlife warden of Deogarh, forest and police officials will be sent to the jungle to ascertain the exact reason behind the death of two elephants.”

He further added “Following the investigation, action will be taken against those whosever found guilty.  The experts are moving to the field. And very soon, they will go for a detailed investigation and on the basis of the probe report, appropriate action will be taken against the accused.”

Meanwhile, frequent deaths of pachyderms in the state has raised question on safety of the jumbos.

In 2021-22, Odisha lost as many as 74 elephants due to different reasons. Making things worse, at least 12 elephants died in the State only in the last two and half months. 

On an average, 33 elephants lost their lives during 1990-2000. However, the numbers almost doubled to 64 in 2001-2010. Things became worse thereafter as at least 946 elephants died between 2010 and 2022.


(Reporter: Soumya Sahoo)