Rourkela, Oct 18 (LocalWire): Forest department officials are perturbed by the turf war between elephants of Odisha and Jharkhand. This rivalry is not only creating trouble for residents living in far flung areas in the district but also claiming lives.
A baby elephant aged just a year was killed in a stampede during one such turf war yesterday.
The baby male calf’s body was found floating in a small pond by villagers under Nuagaon forest range.
But no one dared to go near it as seven jumbos kept an eye on the dead body and were trumpeting menacingly.
Range officer of Nuagaon range, S Sahani said, ‘we don’t dare to go near them when they fight or keep on trumpeting at each other.
During two occasions we have come face to face with angry elephants but somehow managed to drive back those entering from Jharkhand.’
‘We heard their fight but saw the result later on.
Just listening to that sound is scary and they were in a really foul mood then. We informed the forest officials about the dead calf,’ said a villager Sanjay Dang.
The post mortem of the calf confirmed that it had died during the stampede during the fight. The baby was later cremated by the forest department officials.
‘There is a variety of food like paddy, vegetables and bamboo on the Odisha side which is missing on the Jharkhand side where Saranda forest is situated,’ said Sahani.
But, this is becoming a regular affair, particularly in Bonai division and the Nuagaon and Biramitrapur forest range under Rourkela forest division.
With winter approaching food would be easy available as tribals would grow vegetables in large quantity and this would create further trouble if the trend continues, observed Sahani.
DFO Bonai forest division, Sudhansu Kara, who is officiating for Rourkela division also said, ‘this is a new challenge emerging for us and we are very alert.’
‘We have to finalise strategy to evade such kind of war between rival herds. I am worried about both human beings and also the animals,’ he added.
The baby’s death was tragic but ‘things like this happen during a fight although such an incident happened for the first time here,’ informed another official.