Elephant that helped track man-eater kills man

Jasoda may have been irritated after overwork

By Our Bureau in Angul and Bhubaneswar
  • Published 9.11.18, 12:24 AM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 10:28 AM
  • a min read
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Jasoda had been brought to Satkosia for Operation Tigress Sundari.. Telegraph picture

Kunki elephant Jasoda, which had been brought to Satkosia from Chandaka to help tranquillise tigress Sundari, on Thursday killed a villager of Matia Sahi in Angul.

On Thursday morning, Jasoda was taken to a forest, about 1km away from the forest department’s Purunakote range office, for eating bamboo leaves.

With her legs tied, she had been left alone at the place. The mahut (elephant driver) had alerted the local villagers not to go near him. Sources said there was no forest official present at the spot.

Satkosia wildlife divisional forest officer Rama Samy said: “While the elephant was eating bamboo leaves, Sudur Pradhan, 49, a villager of Matia Sahi, came close to the jumbo and gave it a banana plant to eat. The elephant suddenly caught and crushed him under its feet.

Forest department officials rushed to the spot and agreed to provide Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the family of the victim and immediately released Rs 40,000 for the funeral.”

There is widespread resentment among the local people over the death, which occurred following the killings of two persons by the tigress, which was released into the Satkosia forest on August 17.

Experts said Jasoda was irritated over her excess use during the operation to capture the tigress. It also felt alone in the new environment and that might have caused irritation. In another development, Sundari is stated to be well in the special enclosure spread over 5sqkm. She has not been given any prey since her capture as she had eaten a buffalo in the Majhipara forest on Monday night.

“Sundari is perfectly well in her enclosure and her behaviour is normal. She is also free from the effect of sedation that was administered to her. After two to three days, live prey will be given to her. It is very difficult to say how many days she will be here in the enclosure,” said a forest official.

Sundari on Tuesday was tranquillised by a Satkosia doctor, Kishore Chandra Sahu, sitting on the back of Jasoda. Central Zoo Authority officials have ruled out the possibility of Sundari being shifted to a zoo, putting a question mark over her future.