| Wild elephants roam around Sukinda valley. Telegraph picture |
Jajpur, Jan. 18: Residents of Sukinda chromite valley haven’t been able to sleep for many nights, their insomnia induced by a wild elephant that strayed into the area days ago.
The animal has damaged houses, household articles, food grains, crops and many plants in Kalarangi, Atta, Mangalpur and nearby areas. People here live in fear of the wild elephant.
“We have lost sleep because of this wandering wild tusker, which has been roaming the locality for the past many days. We are trying to remain alert to save our lives and property. Many people have narrowly escaped attacks in the night,” said Nila Dehury of Kalarangi Dehurysahi village. Bhagat Dehury of Mangalpur village agreed. “We have been spending sleepless night,” he said.
Villagers have tried to scare it away by exploding crackers and beating drums. Instead of retreating, however, the noise seems to infuriate the elephant further.
Hundreds of tribal families left their homes for safer places on Sunday night, as the elephant wreaked havoc, destroying houses, other articles and stacked paddy.
“The elephant strayed into our village on Sunday night. We were scared to learn that it was just a few metres away. It demolished seven houses in our village,” said Gahami Dehury, an eyewitness.
The elephant has already damaged property and crop worth a few lakh of rupees. Panic stricken villagers have asked the police and forest officials to take steps to put an end to the menace.
“We have left home in fear of the jumbo menace. We pleaded with forest and police authorities to take steps to put an end to this nightmare,” he said.
A forest official, however, said there was nothing to worry about as the pachyderms were inside the forest area that was well guarded.