Another elephant carcass found in Odisha, fifth in last eight days

Updated on Jun 21, 2020 12:23 AM IST

The elephant had earlier killed 2 people in last two months.

Forest official said they suspect anthrax was used to kill th elephant.(Representative image/REUTERS)
Forest official said they suspect anthrax was used to kill th elephant.(Representative image/REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty

In another case of suspected poaching, the carcass of an elephant aged between 20 and 25 years was found in the forests of Odisha’s Angul district on Saturday, forest officials said.

Forest department officials said the elephant was sighted roaming in the Chhendipada area of Angul Friday evening where it created panic before running into the Chhendipada Gudimara reserve forest. The elephant had earlier killed 2 people in last two months.

Angul’s District Forest Officer V Kartik said the carcass was buried after post-mortem. “We suspect that the animal died of anthrax,” he said.

However, wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty said anthrax does not kill an elephant quickly. “Once infected by Anthrax, the elephant would show erratic behaviour for a week before succumbing to the disease. Nothing of that sort happened in this case. We suspect, the elephant came in contact with livewire trap set up by poachers to kill wild boars. A proper inquiry should be conducted to find out how it died,” he said.

This is the fifth elephant to die in Odisha in the last eight days. Three days ago the bullet-ridden carcass of a 3-year-old male elephant was found in Boudh district. However, its tusks were intact.

On June 12 and June 14 - a male, a female and a calf- died in Odisha after coming in contact with livewire set up by poachers to trap wild boars in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts. A probe by the officials revealed that poachers had left livewire connected to 11 kv transmission lines for wild boars that left the three elephants dead.

Wildlife officials said in last two-and-half months of lockdown, at least 15 elephants have died in Odisha, of which only died of natural causes. The deaths have been attributed to poaching, electrocution and other reasons. Four elephants died in Keonjhar division, 3 in Angul while Keonjhar (WL), Athagarh, Subarnapur, Bamra (WL), Khurda, Balasore, Sundargarh and Boudh reported one death each.

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