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Man-jumbo conflict on rise

393 elephants killed in past five years

Jumbos at a forest. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar: The destruction caused by jumbos in Barbil and Champua of Keonjhar district has brought the issue of human-elephant conflicts back into focus.

A source said local residents in these areas were living under fear as a herd of 70 elephants from Jharkhand were destroying crops in acres. Last month, jumbos caused destruction near Rourkela and trampled a young man to death on September 2.

The last census conducted in May revealed a marginal increase in the state's jumbo population, which went up to 1,976 from 1,954 in 2015. However, environmentalists are worried about the escalating conflicts between elephants and human beings.

This is evident from the fact that 393 elephants were killed in the state in the past five years, while 300 people died in jumbo attacks during this period.

"This shows that the deaths of elephants and humans due to these conflicts are on the rise," said green activist Shashi Kant Mishra.

Most of the elephants fell victim to poachers, who had killed them using various means, including guns and poison and high-tension wires.

In June, three elephants, including two females, died after coming in contact with high-tension electric wires in the Borapada forest on the outskirts of Dhenkanal.

The incident was followed by the death of a tusker in Mayurbhanj district under similar circumstances. A source said that sometimes poachers also caused high-tension overhead wires to sag to kill these animals.

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