Suryakant Jena

Keonjhar: Authorities of Champua Forest Range arrested three youths for teasing a wild elephant near Kainta village under Rajia panchayat here on Monday.

Sources said the forest department personnel of Champua along with locals of Kainta village were chasing away a herd of 23 elephants which had strayed into human settlements near the area.

Despite threat, three local youths tried to move closer to the herd and teased them with sticks. One of them also tried to pull tail of an elephant without worrying about his own safety.

The incident came to light after the youths posted a video of the entire act.

After preliminary investigation, the forest personnel arrested the three accused youths.

Meanwhile, incidents of crop damage by elephants were reported from separate places in the State today.

Panic gripped Gopalpur area in Nilagiri of Balasore after a herd of 34 elephants including two calves which had strayed from Jharkhand damaged acres of paddy cultivation in the wee hours today.

Sources said the elephants followed the same route from Dalama jungle in Jharkhand to Gopalpur Reserve Forest just like every year. The authorities of forest department are closely monitoring the movement of the elephants.

Similarly, in another incident, acres of paddy crops were reportedly destroyed after a herd of as many as 14 elephants entered the farmlands in Nuagaon area in Banipada panchayat of Choudwar

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