Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: An elephant counting exercise has begun on Tuesday in Similipal, Kuldiha and Soro to estimate the number of pachyderms in the sanctuaries. The process is likely to continue till May 13.

The forest officials are using both line-transect and dung count methods to ascertain the exact numbers of elephants.

The forest department has constituted a total of 84 units with five members in each group for the counting process.

More than 500 officials have been deployed to carry out the counting process in seven ranges of Similipal sanctuary spread across 2,750 square kms area.

Similarly, counting will be done in 54 and 11 ranges of Kuldiha sanctuary and Soro respectively. As many as 65 camps having two guards each have been set up in the two sanctuaries of Balasore district.

As per 2015 census, Similipal is home to 337 elephants while Kuldiha has 89 jumbos.