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Vikash Sharma

A herd of wild elephants has been spotted in nearby areas and it is advised not to move out of homes at night. If you spot elephants near your village, please dial 6370592099. This alert message from Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) is now being sent to people to warn them of the movement of elephant herds in their locality/ near villages.

The objective of the initiative is to minimise the man-elephant conflict which has always remained a major concern in different parts of Odisha.

Not only automated text, but voice messages are also being sent to a selected database of phone numbers of people from different villages where the movement of elephants is more frequent.

“At around 6/ 6:30 pm we are sending automated 5,000 text messages on mobile phones to people to make them aware of the movement of elephant herd in their area,” said HD Dhanraj, Keonjhar DFO.

"We are also sending voice messages and creating awareness through public announcement in the respective areas," Dhanraj added.

Senior forest officials informed that usually the movement of elephants is more in Keonjhar during September-October months due to paddy and other cultivations. There is a change in the behavorial pattern of the jumbos even though the availability of food in forest is good during monsoon period.

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