Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Cuttack: At least five elephants were swept away by flood water in Mahanadi River near Mundali in Cuttack today morning.

Reportedly, the incident took place when a herd of around 20 elephants were crossing the river while going from Athagarh to Chandaka forest.

According to sources, the wild elephants used to cross the river on a daily basis but due to heavy flow of flood water in the river following incessant rain triggered under the impact of cyclone Titli, the jumbos were swept away today.

Athagarh Forest Range Officer Rabindranath Nayak informed that 5 jumbos were swept away out of the 9 elephants in the herd whereas four elephants have moved to Chandaka forest.

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On being informed, Forest department officials reached the spot and launched a rescue operation to save the jumbos. Till the last reports came in, one of the elephants has reached the river bank at Anantpur whereas three elephants that were trapped have been rescued after four gates of Naraj barrage were opened. The elephants were swept 5 kms ahead to Naraj from Mundali where they were rescued.