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Odishatv Bureau

Sundargarh: Jumbo menace continues to haunt residents in several parts of Odisha as a wild elephant trampled a one and half year old girl to death in Hatibari village in the district on Wednesday night.

According to sources, the incident occurred when the toddler was returning home with her mother after attending a marriage reception in a nearby village.

When the mother-daughter duo was passing by a forest area the animal appeared suddenly and allegedly attacked them furiously.

According to reports, the elephant grabbed the child by its trunk and slammed her on the ground, causing her death instantaneously. It then turned attention towards the woman and attacked her.

In the meantime, locals started searching for the child and her mother when they did not return home. While they found the child dead her mother had sustained serious injuries in the tusker attack. They rushed both to a nearby hospital where the toddler was declared dead while the woman is undergoing treatment.

Sources said the elephant was later spotted roaming around in the vicinity of the village, triggering scare and panic among villagers.

It is worth mentioning here that large-scale mining, quarrying, industrialisation, destructions of elephant corridors, obstructions to traditional elephant movement paths by railway lines, national highways and irrigation canals, deforestation etc. has led to the increasing number of encounters with humans over the years.

Last year around 204 instances of human-elephant encounters were reported in the State in which 115 people were killed and 132 injured. These figures could well be one of the highest human casualties recorded in a particular year in any state in India. The figure looks alarming considering the fact that on an average one human-elephant encounter took place in every two days, resulting the loss of a human life every third day, as per a report presented by the Wildlife Society of Odisha.

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