Other States

Four trampled to death by tusker in Odisha

Eight deaths in six days an ominous sign, wildlife expert

Four persons including three from a family were killed when a tusker ran amok in Odisha’s Bargarh district early on Monday.

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Malai Pandey (45) and Chintu Pandey (12) of the Rajapada colony near Padmapur town had gone out when the tusker separated from its herd attacked them.

It then headed towards the village and damaged a house to access paddy. Dwarikanath Pandey (75), who was sleeping inside, was trampled to death. It then killed Hemsagar Sahu (45) in Bangenmunda village in Bargarh.

“The district does not have resident elephants. Otherwise, our teams would have kept a watch on them. We are trying to ascertain whether they had migrated from Balangir or neighbouring Chhattisgarh,” said Sandeep P, Divisional Forest Officer of Bargarh.

On April 1, two persons were trampled to death by a wild elephant under the Jujumura police limits of Sambalpur district.

Odisha has reported eight deaths just six days into 2020-21.

“The deaths are ominous signs that this year may be worse than the previous year which recorded the highest number of deaths caused by elephants ever,” said Biswajit Mohanty, a leading wildlife expert.

In 2019-20 that ended on March 31, 115 people were killed and 132 injured in 204 human-elephant encounters. According to Mr. Mohanty, these figures could well be one of the highest human casualties ever recorded in a particular year in any State.

Last year’s figures are very alarming considering the fact that on an average, the year witnessed approximately an encounter every two days and a human got killed every 3 days, he said.

“Large scale mining and quarrying, industrialisation, destruction of elephant corridors, obstruction to traditional elephant movement paths by railway lines, national highways, irrigation canals and deforestation have led to the increasing number,” said Mr. Mohanty.

The Angul district, which witnessed the single biggest tragedy ever in Odisha of five human deaths within hours on April 19 last, recorded the highest deaths last year — 22, followed by Dhenkanal 21 and Sundargarh 13.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:06:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/four-trampled-to-death-by-tusker-in-odisha/article31273437.ece

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