The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tusker kills farmer, wife

Bhubaneswar, July 8: Two persons were trampled to death by an elephant that entered the Pokunda forest early this morning.

Lata, a farmer, was attacked while she was on her way to the fields and her husband, Madhav Seth, who tried to free his wife from the clutches of the elephant, was badly injured. Madhav succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital.

The elephant later made its way to the adjoining forests, where it stayed till late in the evening. Officers rushed to the spot and used crackers to drive it into a denser area. Formalities for the compensation are being carried out, too.

The forest officers are on their toes these days as human-animal encounters have escalated in the state. The government today sought a report from the Keonjhar divisional forest officer regarding an elephant that has been halting traffic on Joda-Barabil road.

The forest department has done precious little to improve the situation, while the hungry animal has continued to stop vehicles for food for months. It is being said that trucks and buses plying on the route carry fruits and vegetables to feed it.

Villagers living along the stretch have repeatedly complained that the same animal has attacked residents and killed six in the past eight months. The forest officers, on the other hand, believe that the killer beast and the traffic-stopper are not the same.

Chief wildlife warden B.K. Patnaik confirmed that the Keonjhar divisional forest officer had been asked to submit a report.

Meanwhile, plans have been made to use two trained elephants to tame the mischievous pachyderm. The tamed beasts would be freed at Simlipal or Thakurani reserved forest area to track the latter.

In a separate incident, a elephant and her calf fell into a well in the Santoshpur of Ganjam today. Fire fighters and rescue teams were put to work to help the animals. Villagers, though initially reluctant, helped out officers when they were promised compensation. Both were rescued.

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