Rashmi Ranjan

The elephant deaths in Odisha continue unabated with the state witnessing two jumbo casualties due to electrocution within a span of 24 hours on Tuesday. 

While a female jumbo died at Ulusura reserve forest under Jarada range in Sundargarh district, another tusker succumbed after coming in contact with a live wire fence laid for poaching wild boar in Binika, earlier on Tuesday.

Though the exact reason behind the death of the pachyderm at Jarada range is yet to be ascertained, it is believed that the animal might have died after coming in contact with a live wire.

On being informed about the incident, the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) along with Forest department officials rushed to the spot and started an investigation into the matter.

“An elephant died due to electrocution after coming in contact with live wire fencing,” said Lalit Mohan Patra, DFO, Bonai.

Earlier on Tuesday, a tusker died of electrocution near Mahada village under Binika forest division in Sonepur district on Tuesday.

The jumbo died after coming in contact with a live wire fence laid for poaching wild boar. The Forest Department officials had also seized the electric wire trap which was laid across 1 km.

Recently, Odisha forest and environment minister Pradip Amat informed the State Assembly that 784 elephants have died in the State in the last 10 years.

While 82 jumbos died in 2012-13, the figure was 86 in 2015-16, 93 in 2018-19 and 86 in 2021-22.

Similarly, 11 wild elephants were killed by poachers during 2022-23.

According to the last census conducted in 2017, there are 1,976 elephants in Odisha.

(Reported by Ranjeet Choudhury, OTV)