Athagarh DFO confirms poaching behind death of female elephant

Athagarh: The involvement of poachers has come to the fore in the death of the female elephant near Sabar Taila village under Rajnagar area of Athagarh forest range in the district on Wednesday.

The Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sasmita Lenka on Thursday informed that the elephant was trapped and killed by some unidentified miscreants.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the pachyderm was trapped and killed by making it to consume some poisonous items. Meanwhile, we are investigating into it,” stated the DFO.

She further added that the owner of the land, where the 7-year-old female elephant was spotted lying dead in a pool of blood on Wednesday, has been detained and being questioned.

“After a report on the detailed facts and findings is obtained, appropriate action will be taken into the matter,” added Lenka.

On the other hand, protesting the detention of the land owner, residents of Sabar Taila village gheraoed the DFO office today. The agitating villagers also demanded the arrest of the accused involved in the heinous crime.

A team of veterinary doctors from OUAT in Bhubaneswar and Athagarh that carried out the post-mortem on the pachyderm yesterday revealed that the tongue of the elephant was chafed and it sustained critical injuries inside its mouth leading to excessive loss of blood and subsequent death.

“After the autopsy, it was found that the pachyderm had severe injuries inside its mouth and was bleeding profusely. The jaws of the elephant were broken and tongue was chafed,” informed Sushant Kumar Behera, Athagarh block veterinary officer, adding that the exact cause of the death will be established once the final report comes.