Balangir, November 16 (LocalWire): A 55-year-old farmer, Sriram Biswal, became the latest victim of the human-elephant conflict in the state when a wild elephant gored him to death during wee hours on Saturday in a forest-side village of Odisha’s Balangir district.
The victim is a native of Dhanuadadar village under Agalpur gram panchayat, a forest official said.
The elephant had strayed into his agriculture field and was eating up the standing crop when the victim tried to drive the animal away by beating tin can.
The elephant reacted violently and trampled him to death.
The village where the tragic incident was reported is close to elephants’ habitation corridor, and the animals often stray into the village attracted by the crop for food, leading to the frequent outbreak of human-elephant conflict.
The next kin of the bereaved family will be given an ex-gratia financial aid of Rs four lakh as per the rule prescribed for human death due to attack by protected animals, the forest official stated.
Odisha, which houses 70 percent of the total elephant population in eastern India, has been witnessing deteriorating human-elephant conflict with elephant depredation spreading to 26 out of 30 districts of the state.
The wild animals wander through villages searching for food due to shrinking habitats.
The protected parks and wildlife sanctuaries conferred habitation corridors of the elephants, face the onslaught of massive encroachment from people who live and forage, or graze cattle in the forests.
The human interference of this nature is giving rise to frequent man-pachyderm confrontation.