Jumbos on rampage

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 11.11.13
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Madani Mahato at Rourkela Government Hospital. Picture by Uttam Kumar Pal

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 10: Forest officials are having a tough time trying to drive away herds of elephants that have strayed into human settlements at Nilgiri in Balasore and Rourkela in Sundargarh districts.

The herd in Rourkela has killed an old woman and injured another person apart from damaging houses and paddy crops. In the Nilgiri too, they have damaged houses. While the herd in Nilgiri is 96 strong, 11 elephants are part of the Rourkela herd.

The rampaging herd near Rourkela trampled to death 65-year-old Madani Mahato of Jambrena village under Bishra block yesterday.

Forest officials said curious people were gathering close to the herd and making the task of driving them away to the forest difficult. “We will provide Rs 2 lakh to the family members of the deceased and medical expenses of the injured will be taken care of following the government policy,” said Sudhanshu Chandra Sahani, Bishra forest range officer.

The herd entered the area from Jharkhand. “Recently, the rain destroyed our crops. Whatever was left has been damaged by the elephants,” said Samara Ekka, a farmer.

Crocodile killed

Residents of Perijipur, a village close to the Bhitarakanika wildlife sanctuary in Kendrapara district, allegedly hacked to death a six-foot estuarine crocodile on Saturday.

The incident comes in the wake a person being killed at Sasanapeta village on October 18 after a wild boar attacked him. Irate villagers had set ablaze the nearby Gahirmatha forest range office after the incident.