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Man & animal conflict on rise

Berhampur, Nov. 25: Nineteen people and 26 elephants have died in a struggle for existence during the past five years in Ganjam district.

“Out of 26 elephants dead, 10 were electrocuted, one dashed against a train and another died because of extreme heat,” said an official source.

Fourteen people were attacked and killed by the pachyderms in Berhampur forest division between 2005 and October this year. Another three were killed in North Ghumsur forest division after being attacked by elephant, sources said.

Apart from this, 45 persons were injured and crops on more than 6,000 acres were damaged.

A female elephant died at Balakrushnapur village in Berhampur forest division in 2007. Another female elephant at Dimiria in Khallikote Forest range was killed in 2008. Two elephants died in Souramukundapur and Bijayalaxmipur at Digapahandi Forest range in 2009, four were killed at Biruligada, Ranibar and Burudi at Khallikote range in 2011.

Poachers have killed a wild tusker at Chandragiri under Mujagada range in North Ghumsur Division. Four elephants were killed in 2010, another four in 2011 and three more in 2012 in Galery and Brahmanachai forests, forest department sources said.

While a female elephant and its six-month-old calf were found dead at a cashew jungle near Karadabani in Galery forest range in Ghumusara (North) forest division last October, a tusker was electrocuted at Karchuli jungle in Buguda forest range last September 26.

Last October, poachers took away the tusks of an elephant after killing it at Buguda forest range in Ganjam.

The forest department officials stressed on the need to use modern technology such as circuit breakers to check the problem of electrocution of elephants. People who would give information about poachers would be suitably rewarded, said a senior officer of the forest department.

At present, the number of elephants at various parts of Ganjam is more than 50 and some of them have penetrated into the district from the Chandaka and Kandhamal forests.