Elephant population goes up marginally

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding regular death of jumbos due to different reasons in the state, elephant population was found to have increased marginally to 1,974 this year from 1954 in 2015.

A preliminary report on the elephant headcount carried out across eight circles and 44 divisions in the state said the number of elephants have jumped to 1974 this year despite regular deaths and gradual shrinkage of its natural habitat.

The bi-annual census was for the first time carried out in a synchronised manner covering four different states Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal simultaneously.

The census revealed that Angul has the most number of elephants while Koraput has the least.

As many as 152 elephants have died due to electrocution between 2001 and 2017 out of which 75 deaths occurred only during the last two years even as the department claimed that the number of deaths have shown a decreasing trend when compared to past few years before.