Cuttack/Bolangir/Khurda: Locals in several places of Odisha continue to grapple with stray elephants, which are increasingly intruding into human settlements in search of food. Today, a tusker strayed into Angarapada village in Khurda and reportedly attacked a villager and critically injured him. The villager has been admitted to the Khurda District Headquarters Hospital following the attack by the elephant, which is suspected to have strayed from Chandaka forest.

Yesterday as well, a herd of elephants had strayed into Nirakarpur area of the district and damaged crops and injured a woman critically.

In Bolangir, panic gripped villagers of Kandagada and Mallikadara under Tureikela block when a herd of 27 elephants entered the human settlement area and destroyed paddy crops, banana plantations and some houses. The pachyderms even destroyed harvested crops stored by farmers.

While the Forest department personnel have launched an operation to drive away the pachyderms into the forest, villagers have demanded compensation.

In another incident, a herd of around 20 elephants strayed on to the Cuttack-Sambalpur NH-55 near Bali under Khuntuni forest range in Athagarh of Cuttack today triggering panic among commuters and disrupting road traffic.