Rashmi Rekha Das

At a time when Odisha is witnessing frequent elephant deaths, the Nandankanan Zoological Park on Friday observed World Elephant Day to spread awareness about preservation and protection of the jumbos in the state.

To mark the day, the jumbos were given sugarcane, banana, watermelon and apple among other fruits to eat. Mahuts of elephants were felicitated in the presence of Deputy Director Sanjit Kumar of the zoo.

Deputy Director Sanjit Kumar said, “Be it offline or online, the zoo authorities are leaving no stone unturned to create awareness about elephant protection. Those who are handling web page, Facebook page of the zoo, they are told to create awareness about elephant protection among the page visitors. We have hosted different events to make day more special. In the morning we conducted signature campaign and on the spot quiz competition on elephants,”

He further said, “Feeding enrichment programme was held for four pachyderms. Also, elephant keepers  were felicitated on the occasion.” 

Meanwhile, Animal Welfare Foundation Trust launched a protest in front of the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forest on Friday criticizing the state government’s failure to protect elephants. Wearing elephant mascot, they blamed the government for the death of elephants at Badamba, Athagarh and Sambalpur. “At a time when elephant poachers are having a field day, the Forest department is doing little for the protection of pachyderms. This is why Odisha continues to be the graveyard of the elephants.” protestors claimed.