Sharmili Mallick

Mayurbhanj: A week after a herd of elephants went on a rampage in Nilagiri in Balasore, more than hundred pachyderms have reportedly damaged property and standing crops in acres of land after entering the Rasagobindpur Forest range of Mayurbhanj district.

More concerning, the district administration believes the hundred jumbos that strayed into the region from West Bengal will move further towards Nilagiri in Balasore district by Monday.

“Around 30 elephants that had strayed into the region last week have assembled with another herd of 70 elephants that has ventured from West Bengal at Rasagobindpur. As many as 50 elephants are straying near the border areas of Balasore district and are likely to enter Nilagiri by Monday,” informed Additional Tehsildar of Nilagiri, Rakesh Panda.

“I heard that around 100 elephants are moving towards our area. The crops are yet to ripen and cannot be cut. I have no idea what to do,” said a distressed farmer, Surendra Sahoo.

Another farmer Bharat Mohanty said, “The last time the jumbos came, they had destroyed crops in huge stretch of lands. I am afraid of the same consequence this time too. However, if the administration grants us compensation for the loss, it will be good for us.”

Meanwhile, the farmers in the villages under Rasagobindpur are spending sleepless nights and trying all means to prevent their crops from getting damaged by the jumbos. However, paddy crops on a large stretch of land have already been destroyed by the mammals, sources said.

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