--Odisha continues as elephants’ graveyard: Decomposed bodies of two elephants were on Tuesday recovered by forest personnel in the Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary in Angul district. The carcasses were found near Jagannathpur village in the forest range.
Forest officials on getting information reached the spot and started investigation. It was suspected that the jumbos died after coming in contact with live wires. It seemed the elephants were electrocuted around four days ago, given the state of decomposition of the carcasses, official sources said.
In fact, Odisha continues to witness frequent elephant mortality. Once the pride of Odisha, elephants now see the State as a graveyard. They are falling prey to electrocution, poisoning and poaching.
In 2021-22, Odisha lost around 80 elephants due to different reasons. On an average, 33 elephants died during 1990-2000. However, the numbers almost doubled to 64 in 2001-2010. Things became worse thereafter as at least 950 elephants died from 2010-2022.
As per the wildlife experts, the safety of the national heritage animal in Odisha is in peril and the population of elephants is on the wane due to poor patrolling and lack of stern action against the erring forest officials.
Although the Odisha government has set up a Special Task Force (STF) to probe into the suspicious deaths of elephants at various points of time, the STF often fails to get down to the assignment as it allegedly stumbles upon lapses and negligence on the part of the forest officials.
Biswajit Mohanty, a noted wildlife expert, had urged the government to include independent experts with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the STF in various elephant death probe missions so as to find out the actual causes of the deaths and key culprits responsible for such casualties.