Panic after elephants spotted near Cuttack

Cuttack: Panic gripped the residents here after a herd of elephants strayed into the outskirts of the city late on Tuesday night.

As per sources, nearly 10-12 elephants from Athagarh forest division were sighted crossing Mahanadi river and moving towards the bridge-11 in CDA.

After getting information, forest officials jumped into action and launched an operation to drive away the elephants back to the forest.

“It is estimated that nearly 10-12 elephants from Athagarh forest division are there in the herd. Our priority is to drive out the elephants so that they do not enter the city,” forest official Mohammad Jamir said.

Jamir further informed that adequate forest officials and police forces have been deployed to drive out the elephants.

Similarly a herd of over 40 elephants from Jharkhand strayed into the Nilagiri area in Balasore district triggering panic in the area today morning.

According to sources, the jumbos were found destroying agricultural fields and damaging vast stretch of standing crops and paddy nearby Gopalpur forest.

A local resident Nanda Nayak said, “More than 40 elephants have strayed into the region early morning today. We have to remain alert to prevent any untoward incident.”

Forest officials said they are keeping a close watch on the movement of the herd and steps are being taken to drive away the jumbos into deep jungle.

“The herd reached Kathpal area last night at around 2 AM and crossed here early morning today. After monitoring today the exact number of the pachyderms and whether it is same old herd or a new one can be ascertained,” Forest officer, Prakash Mardaraj said.