A wild elephant trampled five people, including a two-year-old girl, to death in two villages in Odisha on Thursday night in the highest ever human toll in a one day in the state, officials said.
In Sandha village of Angul district, a tusker killed three members of the same family while they were sleeping. Forty-year-old Kalia Saar and his two-year-old and 12-year-old daughters were killed by the tusker in the verandah of their house in Sandha village. Kalia worked in a brick kiln in the locality.
The elephant then crushed another woman in the neighbouring house while she was sleeping in front of her house. It also killed 70-year-old Bramarabar Samal, who had stepped outside his home to relieve himself, in nearby Santhapada village.
Angul divisional forest officer V Karthik said forest officials have provided Rs 40,000 as immediate assistance to the family of Kalia Saar.
In 2018-19, 92 people were killed by elephants in the eastern state.
Officials said the growing man-elephant conflict in the state has also created an all-time record of 159 face-offs this year compared to 120 in 2018. Similarly, the number of people injured has also reached a record, almost doubling from 54 last year to 101 this year.
“The elephants are now on a killing spree. The fragmentation of elephant corridors is forcing the wild animals to head towards human habitations,” said Biswajit Mohanty of Wildlife Society of Odisha, a leading wildlife non-government organisation in the state.
Mohanty said 632 people were killed in Odisha due to elephant attacks between 2011-12 and 2018-19.
Officials said Wildlife Trust of India had given Rs 2.67 crore for preparing an elephant conflict mitigation plan five years ago, but the Delhi-based wildlife NGO is yet to submit its final report.
Apr 19, 2021 14:10 IST