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Poonam Singh

Bhawanipatna: A three-member Central team of Ministry of team of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change will reach Kalahandi today to investigate the mysterious deaths of six elephants at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in the district.

The Central experts team will reach Kalahandi by today evening, informed Kalahandi Divisional Forest Officer (DFO).

According to reports, the Central team will hold meeting with the DFO, RCCF, Bhawanipatna and other senior officials of the Forest and Wildlife department today.

The expert team will visit Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary tomorrow to conduct a ground-zero study of the possible reasons behind the elephant deaths.
Notably, this is the first and maximum ever elephant die-offs in the wild in the State. As many as six pachyderms have died reportedly due to infection leading to Hemorrhagic Septicaemia.

Following the deaths, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the authorities to take immediate measures to stop the fatalities.

The CM had also directed the district administration to ensure vaccination of cattle in villages close to the sanctuary and disinfection of water bodies in the sanctuary.

The forest department of Odisha also has started using drone cameras in the range to track the movement of the jumbos in a step to contain the spate of elephant deaths at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Meanwhile in Rairakhol Forest Division, the authorities have begun awareness and vaccination drive in the region following the death of an elephant calf in Chad Chadi forest on February 12.

It is being suspected that baby elephant had died due to Anthrax, following which the forest department has launched awareness and vaccination drive in eight villages of the forest division.

Reportedly, four teams have been formed to visit the villages to hold meetings with villagers and spread awareness. The team will also vaccinate domestic animals in the region.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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