252 Elephants died in Odisha @ 4 Years

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TNI Bureau: The human-elephant clashes have become a challenge for the ruling BJD government as the number of elephant deaths has increased for past four years due to various reasons. The government is protecting the wildlife, but many locals are the victim of the elephant attacks over a decade.

Despite many initiatives and measures to confine elephants in the forests, the wildlife are coming out of the jungles and entering the villages, damaging the crops. Even the villagers near the jungle area are living under panic after losing their family members in the elephant attacks.

Now the government is planning to make 9 more corridors in Dhenkanal and Athagarh division apart from repairing the existing 14 corridors to prevent the clashes between human beings and wildlife.

Replying to a question by an opposition member, state forest and environment minister Bijayshree Routray said in the House on the first day of the winter session on elephant deaths and poaching that about 252 elephants and 504 other wild animals died in Odisha due to different reasons in just four years between 2009 and November 2012.

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Routray said that the around 476 cases have been registered so far against people in connection with wildlife deaths and CID crime branch will probe seven cases.

Expressing his deep concern over the issue, he said that the government is taking effective steps to stop the elephant rampage that has claimed 215 lives and damaged lakhs of crops in the state in the past four years. According to government report, 252 elephants have died so far and 431 persons were killed by elephants between 2005 and October 2012.

As per the report, out of 252 elephant deaths, 57 died of various reasons. While 59 elephants died due to Electrocutions, the train mishaps claimed 18 elephants. Even the death of 51 elephants is unclear. While poisoning claimed 16 elephants, only 41 died of natural reasons.

Besides elephant deaths, other animals are in danger. About 132 spotted bear have been killed so far, 3 tigers, 7 leopards, 89 barking deer, 58 wild bear, 47 Sambars, 43 sloth bear, 26 black bucks and 26 hyenas have been killed till date.

However, it can be noted that the chief reason behind the increasing deaths of elephants, human lives and wildlife despite effective measures taken by the government is the frequent transfer of forest authority. The decision to monitor the government order also gets affected after another officer takes over the charges.

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