Sharmili Mallick

Khordha: A herd of 18 elephants strayed into the Khordha District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) on Tuesday night triggering panic among the patients, staff and locals.

As per reports, the elephants barged into the hospital premises by breaking the boundary wall of the hospital. Till the last report came in, the elephants were spotted moving inside the cashew nut orchard located inside the DHH campus.

After getting information, officials of Khorhda forest division rushed to the spot and launched a drive to disperse the jumbos. Keeping in view of the presence of 132 KV electric lines crossing near the hospital campus, a team of Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) officials have also been engaged to keep an eye on the movement of the elephants and to prevent the animals from any untoward incident.

Reports said, the elephant herd moved into the region from nearby Chandaka forest in search of food.

Both the forest officials and CESU teams are bursting crackers and trying to keep the mammals inside the campus. They will reportedly try to ward off the jumbos into the forest in the evening in order to any man-animal conflict.

Earlier on October 4, two elephants from a herd of around 20-25 elephants who were moving nearby Kaipadar forest in Khordha district had entered the DHH premises by breaking a portion of the boundary wall of the hospital. Later, forest department rushed to the spot and drove away the mammals back into the forests.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)