Elephant Attack Deaths: Forest Officials Unable To Relocate Captured Wild Tusker

Bhubaneswar: After extensive efforts which spanned over 10 days, the wild elephant, which reportedly killed four persons in Jajpur, was captured yesterday. However, the Forest department is now facing problems in relocation of the captured tusker amid protests.

After tranquilising the jumbo yesterday, the Forest department officials took the wild animal in a truck to Kusunpur forest under Dalijoda Range of Cuttack district. While the elephant was supposed to be released in the forest for around five days, locals of Garuda and Safa panchayats opposed the move and staged protests fearing attacks from the wild animal.

Later, the officials had to shift the elephant to Mahavinayak Nature Camp in Chandikhole of Jajpur district. However, locals there also expressed concerns citing that the elephant poses a threat to human lives in the region.

“Farmers here are already facing a lot of problems due to elephants, but the State government is not listening. Now, they (Forest department) wanted to release a wild elephant in our area, but we didn’t allow them to do so,” said Pradipta Kumar Sarangi, a local of Garuda panchayat.

“We need to keep the elephant in observation for at least five days. Now, senior officers will come and take a decision as to where can the elephant be relocated,” said Jyoti Ranjan Mohapatra, Choudwar Ranger.

On the other hand, locals of Kantipur village under Danagadi block in Jajpur district now seem relieved after the elephant was captured and shifted to another place.

“We depend on forest for our livelihood. For the last five days, we had not been able to cook food for our children due to lack of firewood,” said Jhunulata Jena, a resident of Kantipur village.