406 elephants killed in Odisha during past 5 years

406 elephants killed in Odisha during past 5 years

Bhubaneswar, (Samajweekly) As many as 406 elephants have died in Odisha from 2016-17 to 2020-21, the Assembly was informed on Tuesday.

In a written reply to a question by member Suresh Kumar Routray, Forest Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said that 162 jumbos died in accidents while 11 were killed by poachers. However, he did not mention the reasons behind the death of the remaining 233 elephants.

Out of 162 accidental deaths, 14 were due to train accidents, 4 due to road accidents, 54 due to electrocution and 90 due to other reasons, he said.

Elaborating various measures taken by the state government, the minister said three elephant projects – the Mayurbhanj elephant conservation project, Sambalpur elephant conservation project and Mahanadi elephant conservation project – have been taken up to check the deaths of elephants.

The government has also planned for radio collaring the elephants creating problems to monitor their movement, set up an elephant rescue centre, chalk out a strategy with the consultation of the people and to strengthen the facilities for the treatment of wild animals, he added.

In another reply, the minister said 802 wild animals including elephants and tigers have died due to poaching in the state between 2016-17 to 2020-21.

While 117 wild animals were killed in 2016-17, the number increased to 157 in 2017-18 and to 158 in 2018-19.

Similarly, 130 animals were killed by poachers in 2019-20 and this increased substantially to 240 in 2020-21, Arukha said. During these five years, 3,248 poachers have also been arrested in the state, he added.