Four killed as wild elephants go on rampage in Odisha

Tension at village after incident

Four people were killed in two separate incidents as wild elephants went on the rampage on Wednesday in Odisha.

Also read: Human toll in human-elephant conflict rises during summer, Odisha study finds

In Umarad village under Gaisilat block of Bargarh district, three villagers had gone out to answer nature’s call when a wild elephant attacked them. All of them died on the spot.

The village does not fall in the elephant migration path, yet elephants had strayed into it.

There was tension in the area after the incident.

Forest Department officials explained the circumstances leading to the deaths. After the department began the process of paying compensation, villagers withdrew their agitation.

Similarly, another man was killed after he encountered a wild elephant at his field in Darlipali village under Loisingha block of Balangir district.

Man-animal conflict

Recently, Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO), an environmental pressure group, came up with a study indicating a rise in human casualties in man-elephant conflict during the summer months of April, May and June.

The study said encounters with elephants go up as elephants feed on fruits, which become their main diet due to shortage of usual fodder and water in the forests.

The WSO said 527 people died and 442 sustained injures in elephant attacks from April 2017 to April 2021. Of them, 117 died in April, May and June.

“Each year, during the summer months of April, May and June, Odisha witnesses a spurt in human casualties as people and elephants come face to face frequently during harvesting of non-timber forest products such as mahua, mango, jackfruit, bael fruit (bela), wood apple (kaitha) and cashew,” said Biswajit Mohanty of WSO.

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