Bhubaneswar, September 14(LocalWire): Authorities of Karanjia forest division in Mayurbhanj district have warned that action will be taken against those provoking and disturbing the herd of elephant that has strayed into the area.
Officials of the forest division also warned that troublemakers will be put behind the bar under the provisions of wildlife protection law.
As reported earlier by LocalWire, a herd of 22 wild elephants headed by five tuskers from Jharkhand has strayed into a cluster of forest-side villages in Mayurbhanj district earlier this week, leading to another man-elephant conflict.
“As the villages in these parts are largely free from elephant depredation, people were found pelting stones at the animals.
This is provoking the herd, which has turned violent. Therefore, a warning has been issued asking the villagers to refrain from causing any harm and disturbances to the elephants,” Karanjia Forest divisional forest officer Prasanna Kumar Behera told LocalWire.
“Those found disturbing the elephants will be booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which is a non-bailable offence.
The elephant herd is deeply disturbed because of a large human presence and have turned aggressive because of stone-pelting.
There is every possibility of retaliation on parts of the animals.
Therefore, people have been asked not to indulge in such unlawful act or else face coercive legal action,” the officer warned.
“Karanjia forest areas are not often visited by stray elephants.
So the new guests from Jharkhand have become a source of attraction for the local people.
However, by teasing and taunting the animals they are inviting unwanted trouble for themselves,” he said.
According to reports, the provoked herd has strayed into the villages and damaged over dozen of houses. They have also caused damage to the standing crops.
Odisha is home to 1,976 elephants as per the latest census data of 2017.
The Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj with 330 elephants has the highest density of population of these animals.