Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha continues to witness frequent elephant mortality with carcasses of two more jumbos being found from Tileimal Patra forest under Bamra Badram range in Kuchinda area on Thursday.

Upon being informed by local people, forest officials rushed to the spot and launched an investigation into the incident. However, the exact cause of death of the two jumbos is yet to be ascertained.

It is suspected that the pachyderms might have died after consuming pesticide-laced paddy from the nearby fields.

As per the forest officials, one among the dead elephants is male and another is female. 

With frequent deaths of elephants almost every week, questions are now being raised over the safety and security of the pachyderm population in the State.

 The distressed elephants in the State face an uncertain and dangerous future and are almost on the brink of extinction. Once the pride of Odisha, elephants now see the State as a graveyard.

In 2021-22, Odisha lost around 80 elephants due to different reasons. On average, 33 elephants died during 1990-2000. However, the numbers almost doubled to 64 in 2001-2010. Things became worse thereafter as at least 950 elephants died from 2010-2022.

As per the wildlife experts, the safety of our national heritage animal in Odisha is in peril and the population of elephants is on the wane due to poor patrolling and lack of stern action against the erring forest officials.